Growing older doesn’t discourage me. But sometimes looking back does.
My birthday was last week. I turned 53. And on that day I asked myself, what have I to show for my half a century on earth?
I’ve seen some of my personal dreams come true, and some die. But other than that, I’m pretty empty-handed.
- I don’t own anything that’s worth anything.
- I haven’t seen the wonderful places in the world around me.
- I can’t claim any impressive accomplishments.
Mostly I’ve lived my life at school, giving my time and energy and heart to other people’s kids.
Twenty of those years were spent sacrificing to help start a Christian high school, spending day after day, talking about the grammar rules no one remembers and trying to drum up enthusiasm for authors long gone and coaxing . . . bribing . . . prodding reluctant students to channel their thoughts into words.
Working in the summers. Doing without. Eking the last bit of life out of everything I own. So I could teach at a ministry school.
Watching cars break down and clothes fray and fall apart and my body grow worn.
And losing some of my best friends and loved family because they moved on to Heaven ahead of me.
Watching the school I loved and gave so much fall victim a shaky economy and oppressive culture and struggle and weaken and eventually die.
Now being the new teacher on the block, starting all over again to build a program and a ministry and a life . . . at my age.
Easily overlooked . . . disdained . . . forgotten . . .
Even now, when I say the words aloud, they pierce my heart.
I’ve lived small . . . my life is so small.
And immediately, I hear ancient words reassuring me . . .
“He must increase. I must decrease.” ~John 3:30~
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.“ ~I Corinthians 1:27~
I find myself turning to Psalm 73 to commiserate with the guy who lost all hope—until He let God give him a new perspective.
Here’s Psalm 73 from The Message . . .
“What’s going on here? Is God out to lunch?
Nobody’s tending the store.
The wicked get by with everything.
They have it made, piling up riches.
I’ve been stupid to play by the rules.
What has it gotten me?
A long run of bad luck, that’s what—
A slap in the face every time I walk out the door.
Still, when I tried to figure it out,
All I got was a splitting headache . . .
Until I entered the sanctuary of God.
Then I saw the whole picture.
You’re all I want in heaven!
You’re all I want on earth!
When my skin sags and my bones get brittle,
GOD is rock-firm and faithful.
Look! Those who left you are falling apart!
Deserters, they’ll never be heard from again.
But I’m in the very presence of GOD—
Oh, how refreshing it is!
I’ve made Lord GOD my home.
GOD, I’m telling the world what you do!”
I think that guy’s got the right idea! So I’m telling the world—
What I’ve learned in half a century is that . . .
Christ’s hand in mine makes letting go of everything else
So very worth it!
Thanks for encouraging me with a visit! Blessings, friends!
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***Photo Backstory: I made these graphics from iPhone pics of my niece’s beautiful garden. Of course, PicMonkey is my tool of choice for tweaking the pic & adding the quote!