Saturday, April 12, 2008


I think we would all agree that we use numbers to assign amounts to things. It is an elementary fact that we learn when we are very young. The number of dollars in your wallet is equal to how much money you are carrying around. The number of children you have is equal to the amount of time you (or your wife, if you are a man) spent going to the bathroom during pregnancy. The number of degrees on your wall is equal to how much time and money it took and the amount of sleep you lost to acquire those nicely framed pieces of paper. The only exception to this rule is that the number of shoes in your closet is actually in direct proportion to your gender (If you have more than three pair of shoes—you are either a woman or you are a man deeply in touch with your feminine side). Actually that exception also applies to the amount of toilet paper you use in a week, but that is another blog entirely.

I said all of this to say that today I am 40 years old. Even as I write these sentences, it feels like an introduction of myself to a support group. “Welcome to Forty-Something Anonymous…please go around the circle and state your first name and how long you have been over thirty-nine.” As I presume most people do, I have given this recent change in my life some thought and, as I know you are dying to get a peek into the deep, dark recesses of my private thoughts, I have decided to share.

I don’t think that the number of years you have been on the earth is really about age or your nearness to buying the proverbial farm or pushing up the proverbial daisies. I think the number of years you have lived should be quantified by the difference you have made in the little world in which you live and how much pleasure it has given your Heavenly Father. Each year that we are given is, in reality, a 365 day opportunity to live a life of radical obedience to the King of Kings. So I ask myself, “Have I done that? Have I thrown myself head-first, with abandon, into the deep waters of following the only One who can love me like I desperately want to be loved?” Perhaps you are not 40 yet. Maybe you are agonizing over turning 25 (if so, someone should smack you in the head!) or maybe you have seen well over four decades and you think someone should smack me in the head. In any case, I challenge you to set aside some time once a year or so and take inventory. We get so busy “doing” things for God (or for ourselves) and we forget that we are not human doings, we are human beings. I desire to “be” so much more than I “do”. I can’t wait to see how much pleasure I can bring to my Father in the next 40 years ! Happy birthday to me!!