You Never Care
Until You Are There
When we are really young, we cannot wait to reach a certain age. We do this repeatedly until we reach that really special age, such as 18 or 21.
When we are six, we cannot wait to be seven or eight. For me six, eight, ten, thirteen, sixteen, eighteen and twenty-one were the big milestones. Each one of those represented a mile marker in my life, where I got to be or do something I could not, until I reached that age.
For example, when I reached age SIX, my bedtime was later and I could go to school like all the 'Big Kids'. When I reached EIGHT, my physical boundaries expanded. I could freely run around more of the neighborhood without having to tell mom where I was going. PLUS I had a bicycle of my own I could ride! When I reached TEN, I was now into double digits and that much closer to becoming a teenager!
THIRTEEN: Finally a TEENAGER!!! YAY!!! I am really one of the Big Kids now. No more toys or any of that little kid stuff for me! *I* was on my way to becoming an adult!
SIXTEEN: DRIVER'S LICENSE!!! Dating. Drive-Ins, staying up late on the weekends. FREEDOM!!!
EIGHTEEN: MORE FREEDOM! A place of my own! Making my own way. Making ALL my own choices. The only one who could tell me what to do was my employer.
TWENTY ONE: The pinnacle. The apex. A FULL FLEDGED ADULT! I could sign contracts, legally go in debt. Get married, Whatever I wanted to do that was legal, I was finally an adult!
AND THEN IT HAPPENES. THE HORROR OF HORRORS!
THIRTY. Oh no! My first of the "I AM GETTING OLDER" years. Not so old, but not so young, either. Still having good times. Still trying to live like I am twenty-something.
THIRTY-FIVE. MID-LIFE CRISIS TIME. In five years I will be FORTY! NO!!!
FORTY-FIVE. Still trying to live like I am twenty-something but it is not as easy as it used to be. None of the twenty-somethings want to hang out with me anymore -- unless, of course, I am buying the next round. [sigh]
FIFTY. I am old. I have given up trying to live like I am thirty-something. My body is my greatest enemy. I am beginning to morph into a big, soft, teddy bear. Muscle tone is at half capacity. Priorities are having the bills paid and enough food in the house. Maintaining enough physical stamina to remain able to get on the roof of the house when I need to is a neat trick. I now need to take breaks when mowing the yard and shoveling snow. About the only thing I have to look forward to at this age is watching pro football.
SIXTY-FIVE. Oh goody! Now I qualify for Medicare and Social Security. Whoopee! I can no longer stand to look at myself naked in front of the full-length mirror. Oh joy of joys! Thank you, Lord.
Which brings me to today. In a little over 24 hours, I will be SIXTY-SEVEN. I am not sure if I should be glad that I have lived this long. In my mind, I am nowhere near as old as my body tells me I am, because in my mind, I am still slender and physically able to do all the things I used to be able to do.
On the one hand I am sad, knowing how I wasted my youth and all the damage I did along the way. Not only to myself, but to others as well. On the other hand, I am glad that I have lived long enough to be able to look back and realize what a selfish and self-centered [expletive deleted] I was.
Yet I am also grateful that I can look back and see the fingerprints of God on my life, even when I wanted nothing to do with him. I probably would not have lived this long were it not for his intervention. And Lord knows how much more harm I would have caused myself and others had he not intervened and shown me the error of my ways.
So I guess it is a good thing that I still have a reasonably clear mind, even if my body is tattered and well-worn. For today I have the opportunity to share with those whom God directs, my experiences, lessons learned, and hope, for those who might be going down the same road-to-ruin that I was on for so long.
Maybe, just maybe, by sharing my life's lessons, God will open the hearts and minds of a few others a little earlier in their life -- so that they might not have the same regrets and sorrows that I have. That is, should they live long enough to have them. (Think about THAT for a moment!)
You see, when I finally took stock of my life, I realized that there were at least EIGHT TIMES in my life when I should have been dead. A couple of those times I think I may have been dead and God revived me because he was not done with me yet. Keep in mind that those are just the times that I am aware of. Only he knows how many other times he saved me (and others) from myself and my insane, self-centered life-style.
So I think I will celebrate this birthday with as much joy as I did my sixth birthday, and take every opportunity left to me to show my appreciation for his love for me and you, by telling my story to everyone who has ears to hear and a heart prepared by him to recognize and realize that there is SO MUCH MORE to life than what the eyes can see and the heart can perceive.
Thank you for your time. God bless.