I’m 47 now. Too old for Snapchat. Not old enough for AARP. I’m embracing and enjoying these middle years.
Nine years of my forty-seven years have been spent in college, seminary, and graduate school. More if you count all the time spent writing my dissertation when I was serving The Water’s Edge during those early years. I’ve been a pastor for twenty years now. I’m not one of the young preachers anymore. I’m good with that. Education and experience count for something, but in the last year, I was reminded, again, of two things:
- I have so much to learn.
- I need God.
I think about how The Water’s Edge is spending millions of dollars on a building in 2017. People have sacrificed so much and I want to be faithful to them and God. I have so much to learn and I need God.
I remember standing on top of the Empire State Building in July thinking how ill-equipped I was to perform a comedy routine in the big city. I have so much to learn and I need God.
I tuck the younger son in at night and wake his older brother in the morning. I often feel inadequate as a parent and don’t want to let the boys down. I have so much to learn and I need God.
I have stumbled across a number of learnings in the first half of my life. Most aren’t from textbooks or lectures, but from experience and observation.
- The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Take the first step today!
- We look most like Jesus when we serve, give, and forgive. Doing these is a blessing to others and ourselves. Do these things.
- The world is made up of imperfect people so I am not going to expect perfection from anybody anymore. Excellence, yes. Perfection, no.
- The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare. Spend more time preparing and less time worrying about outcomes.
- We can’t change other people. I’m doing my best to change my reaction to people. Less judging and arguing. More loving and listening.
- Rest isn’t a waste of time. Rest is necessary for a fruitful life. Spend more time reflecting, relaxing, and relating.
- And, I have so much to learn and I need God.
Thanks to all of you who took time to wish me happy birthday. Your friendship, encouragement, and kindness means more to me than you will ever know.