CHURCH CORNER: As years pass, make the days count

Life has monumental moments. Going off to college; getting married; taking one’s first job; the miracle of the birth of your children; and buying a house all have that air of magnitude. These are big deals. Close behind in terms of import are some of the age markers that become mileposts in our life.

Turning 16 was huge for me. I could legally drive a car. When I was 18 I could vote, I could be drafted to serve in the military and I could – in Colorado at least – legally drink beer (not that I ever did, of course). Twenty-one signaled my official entry in to adulthood although some might argue I have never fully made that transition.

On my 40th birthday, a friend signed me up for the mailing lists of several nursing homes and retirement communities who still are trying to get my business. Fifty wasn’t too bad. I felt like I was just hitting my stride. Now, on the eve of turning 60, I am realizing that this will be one of the major mile markers in my life. So rather than mope, I have been reflecting on the lessons I have been learning.

Lesson One – My golf swing is not nearly what it used to be when I was in my 30. Enough said.

Lesson Two – Driving a convertible is really fun.

Lesson Three – There are some important people that God has put in my life – people I should never take for granted. My wife who has shared the highs and lows of my life and who I love more today than I did when I married her; two daughters, now grown, who continue to surprise, inspire and make my heart swell with gratitude; three amazing grandsons whose lives stretch before them with great possibility; several very close friends and many others who are more than acquaintances; and a remarkable congregation of people who see Christ’s call to be disciples is not just being a spectator but are actively living out their faith in Christ’s kingdom both here in Enumclaw and around the world.

Lesson Four – Every day is a gift that I should never take for granted. Sure, I ache a little more (OK, a lot more) every morning when I get up. For many reasons, my body isn’t able to do the things it once did. But I find that I am more keenly aware of God’s blessings each day than ever. Life is not a sure bet. The Bible says we are like grass that flourishes one day and is gone the next. That could be depressing except for the fact that life, like grass, does flourish with rich joy, accomplishment, faith, and blessings. God has blessed us so we can bless others.

Lesson Five – Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (and it’s all small stuff). When I was 46, I was run over by a bus. That is not just an expression. I literally was run over by a bus. Someone sent me a book with this as a title. I realized I spend a lot of time worrying about stuff I really can’t control. Jesus taught that instead of worrying so much about tomorrow, I should live more in the moment, trusting God for his mercy, love and grace. It’s taken me 60 years but I think I am learning this lesson.

Lesson Six – It’s really difficult trying to write an article that you think people will relate to and find helpful when they read it in the newspaper or church newsletter. So, for what it’s worth, I hope you can relate to some of these lessons and will make each day that God has given you count as you trust the lord.

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