The title says it all. I could stop writing right there, but where’s the fun in that? The best part about blogging, is opening the door of your life to total strangers in an effort to entertain and edu-ma-cate. So without further ado…
January 11th is fast approaching. I’ll be celebrating my 42nd birthday, you see. Lately, I’ve been taking stock of my life in an effort to discover real truths. If I walked out of the house tomorrow morning and was struck down by a stolen UPS truck, what am I leaving behind for my family? What is my legacy? What would I liked to have accomplished before my death?
When I was a kid, 20-somethings were old people. I had my life planned out for the 20’s. Yeah…that plan didn’t exactly pan out. In my 20’s, 30 was the new “old man” age. My life needed to run in a certain direction by the time I hit 35, at the latest. So by 36, when my plan had again failed to come to fruition, I think I began to panic.
I bought a motorcycle. I made some pretty selfish decisions. I neglected my wife. I neglected our kids. All the while, my new landmark age was set for 45. My reasoning was, “I should be settled into my awesome lifestyle in 9 years, surely.”
God sure likes to laugh at your plans, doesn’t He? I swear it seems the older I get, the more he changes things up. Teaching children’s church, and Royal Rangers; writing; making music; coaching softball; man, I hadn’t planned any of that stuff for my life! But, I suppose God had other plans for me.
In my mind, I envisioned my family being well to do. I saw us living in a huge house with more room than we know what to do with. I saw a crotch rocket parked in the garage, next to my truck, parked next to my car. I saw my wife’s vintage VW Beetle parked in the driveway, next to my son’s little compact. I saw myself locked into a profession I loved.
The problem with that vision is, I never saw myself helping anyone. I never saw myself teaching students, or inspiring a generation of young people. I never saw myself actually putting in time to learn an instrument, or countless hours practice-writing. I never once saw myself choosing to pay for something my kids wanted before buying something for myself.
My dreams were flawed, and God knew it. So…I guess it’s good He turns my plans upside down to better fit into His plan for my life. When I spell it all out like this, you know what? My life’s not so bad after all. Sure my rented house is a bit small for my family of seven; our family car is on its last go around before breaking down permanently; and we barely have two nickels to rub together most times. But, my family’s healthy and I know for a fact, we have the favor of the Lord guarding our lives.
Sometimes, we just have to stop and take stock of what’s really important. If I was run down by that UPS truck tomorrow, you know what I would regret? Nothing. My wife and kids love me, despite my human failures. God’s got me doing some pretty awesome things in the spirit of sharing His gospel using the talents He’s given me. I don’t love my Engineering profession, but it pays the bills, puts food on the table, and the flexible hours allow me time to work on the things I do love to do; like writing and music.
Maybe 42 won’t be so bad after all. From a biblical standpoint, God used a lot of great men to accomplish great things, in their 40s. Instead of my time running out, maybe my time is coming.