Sunday, February 25, 2007

Getting older. Taking bullets.

In 27 minutes, I'll be 39.

That's a big number. I'm not sure how I got here. I don't feel that old, I'm told constantly that I don't look anywhere near that old, and Lord knows I often don't act that old.

But. I am that old.

When my mother was 39, I was 19. I am 39 and my sister Sarah is 20 and has lived with me since she was 15.

NOW I understand some things better.

I'm reminded all the time how old I am. The other day, Dennis Johnson died. He was 52. My mother was 52 when she died. It's way too young.

I remember watching DJ when I was growing up and the Celtics were a proud NBA franchise. He was a professional. I admired him very much.

In 21 minutes I will be 39.

Next year I will be 40. I believe that's supposed to mean something.

My best friend came down this weekend for the Moody Walkworthy Conference. It was a great weekend and we had a good time. There are just some things you can say to your friend of 20 years that you can't say to other friends. And some things you don't have to say.

In 18 minutes I'll be 39.

Life is good. But I am always melancholy when Chris leaves. Last night at dinner I had a moment where I really had to ask myself why I am depriving myself of his constant companionship and still living in Ohio. God knows. That's the only answer I need.

In 15 minutes I will be 39.

If I don't make it that long, that will be okay with me. Yesterday Chris and I talked about something Michael Easley said during his talk on Saturday. He was speaking about the sacrifice that God made by letting His son come to earth and die for our sins, and what a magnificent sacrifice that was. Easley said that he might be willing to sacrifice himself for one of us, but he certainly wouldn't be willing to sacrifice one of his children. That really hit home with Chris.

I understood it as well. I told Chris though, that there probably weren't very many people I wouldn't be willing to take a bullet for. First, I am okay with dying. I know where I am bound and I can't wait to get there.

When I was younger, when I knew the truth of God but refused to be obedient, I didn't realize the danger I was placing myself in. Like many young men, I believed myself the privilege of making my own decisions and having complete control of my life outweighed the risks involved.

They didn't. I have the scars to prove it.

I have a good life. I am happy much of the time. I laugh freely and often. I have a peace and a joy in my heart. I have a hope for the future and an anticipation for what God is bringing next into my life. This is how I spend most of the minutes of my days.

In two minutes I will be thirty-nine.

I miss my mother. I want to see Aaron, the son I held once. I miss my wife. Scars don't go away. This is how I spend the other minutes.

These are the events God used to refine me, to build perseverance and steadfastness. He has made me stronger. I am thankful for these events. I am not the fool that I once was.

I am 39.

My father told me that I had become a fine man and that he was proud of me. I know my mother is too. My son would not be ashamed to claim me as his father. My God has brought me this far. My Savior is my friend, and I learn more about Him every day.

I am 39, and this is going to be the best year of my life.

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