But 40 is here, ready or not. And if the law of averages holds for me, I'm over half way done with life. Average life expectancy for a male in our country is 77.5 years (depending on where you look; that's CIA data for 2016). So anyone wanting to needle me for being over the hill, that ship has sailed. I went over the hill at 38.75 years, around May of 2016!
What have I done with those days since my dad turned 40 (or since I was born)? In some ways a lot. In other ways, not nearly enough. So here are 40 thoughts for turning 40. Just kidding. That would be way too much. How about a few pretty miscellaneous reflections looking back over the past 40 years (or however much of it I can remember)...
- I am learning more of what it means to really and truly depend on God. For a lot of my years I thought I was depending on God until God brought me to an end of myself. I have spent too much of my life depending on me and my skills and job and connections and bank account and friends and family, etc instead of on the God who gives those gifts. Still learning.
- I have wished that God would show me the plan for my life all at once; a complete road map, no surprises, always knowing what's next. But by guiding me only one step at a time, God has taught me things that I likely wouldn't have learned if I knew it all up front. This is sometimes painful and always good, whether it feels that way or not.
- God gives enough grace for each day. Don't borrow trouble from tomorrow. Don't borrow trouble from tomorrow. Don't borrow...anyway. You get the idea. Still working on this one. The grace for tomorrow's trouble will come tomorrow.
- Family is sweet. Especially my wife. I hope she is with me every year on the backside of 40.
- I wish that I had used my time better and am thankful to have been learning slowly in the last few years how to be more productive and less lazy. I still need lots more discipline and growth in this area.
The bigger question, the one I can do something about is: What will I do with what's left?
- I know that, no matter what, the faithfulness of God that I have experienced the last 40 years will follow me all the days of my life and then I'll dwell in the house of the Lord forever and ever, Amen. I want to keep my eyes fixed on that reality and the Savior who has provided it for me.
- I want to be faithful to my calling as a follower of Christ, a husband, a father, and a minister of the gospel. God give me grace to finish well over the course of the years that remain.
My dad isn't 40 any more, but he is still faithful to his Savior and has left in his wake a crowd of people who are the better for having known him. Including me. And my sons. And if, when my sons turn 40, the same can be said of me, I'll be grateful.