It’s hard to believe…but it is true!
There are many things that are hard to believe. In fact, here’s a YouTube video that gives you some ideas of those things that are unbelievable.
I find it hard to believe that I’ve turned 60 years of age. I am a bit nervous of sharing that truth primarily because some people perceive me as much younger and I have no desire to burst their bubble. But truth sets you free if you admit it…so freedom, I’m embracing you. It is difficult to accept the fact that it’s true because it feels so unbelievable. I remember years ago attempting to imagine being 60 and, frankly, I don’t count those days as ones of which I'm particularly proud. I was as guilty as the next guy of making assumptions about people of “age” that have now come back and haunt me. Yes, many of the things you hear about getting older are true…there is a subtle tiredness that goes along with aging…there are lapses in memory…there are aches that never used to be there. Even so, there are joys that are experienced ONLY in this era of life that could not be part and parcel of the journey if only lived in youth. With age comes perspective…comes wisdom…comes the second half of life where achievement takes second place to meaning and purpose.
I would be the first to admit that I was a hard charging achievement oriented individual for a majority of my life. In fact, many of the emotions I felt were due to perceived victories or measured impact in reference to standards that I had a deep conviction that I could accomplish. No hill was too hard or steep to climb…no challenge to big to deter me from taking a shot at conquering. My goals were grand because I had a relationship with a grand God…God sized dreams and visions were the things that got me out of bed in the morning. They were the fuel for excitement and passion in much of my life. Even so, though things have changed in many of the circumstances I currently face, the trials I still get excited about are huge in scope. Though I have learned to prioritize those objectives that keep me focused on a day-to-day basis, I’m still dreaming and hoping and wondering what God is up to and how I might join Him in the next challenge. Achievements are still motivational for me though the reasons have changed…I’m not concerned with self-esteem or achievement for achievement’s sake…now I’m concerned with legacy and long-term impact of any and all goals I choose to pursue. My first half of life insecurities have been transformed into second half of life pleasures and desires to see other succeed and find fulfillment in what they accomplish through my efforts. My ego has taken a back seat to community…which, in many respects, should have been where it belonged in the first place.
It’s hard to believe that I can actually start counting the years of potential activity. I can work with a buddy of mine in financial planning and start actually uttering the “r” word…I can start asking myself what is going to be my PRIME focus in the immediate years that will leave me with a sense of peace and pride in accomplishment when I complete this next season in life. And make no mistake about it I still want to make a difference…but my difference making needs to be more focused…more laser like in its impact instead of spot light like in being broad scoped. So I guess this age thing if good for anything is good for at least that…maybe for the first time in my life I’ll be focused. Good for me!
I’ve also started to look at events in life a bit differently. Christmas has changed…yes, the activities that have always engulfed my life during Christmas have still been there to make their impact. I’m still involved in puppet shows, worship experiences, message planning and teaching just as I have been for more years than I care to count. But I’m reading more on silence, meditation and reflection these days than ever before and I’m learning that my heart’s desire is for more of THAT then more of what has bee my life’s staple for years. And you know, maybe if there is one thing that I’ve missed out on over the years is the deeper meaning of many of life’s events. I know in busy-ness it is easy to skim over meaning and, I’m sure, that’s why my heart is yearning more for meaning and less for activity. I’ve discovered that just as I fed my spirit with activity in years past, now I need to feed my heart with things that it needs and desires…that being, quiet and silence…stillness and deeper reflection. Maybe this age thing isn’t quite as bad as it may seem. Maybe age isn’t really age it is more maturity. In that case, all I can say is “amen” to that for by all means I, and all of us for that matter, need a little maturity.
So, bless you as you end 2014 and look to 2015. May you take a few moments to reflect on what gives you meaning and purpose. And then, would you lean into that…fill your heart and spirit with that nourishment. You won’t go wrong if you do!