I turned 33 yesterday.
I have now had as many birthdays on this earth as Jesus.
I really just can’t accept the fact that many of the men in the Scriptures were younger than I am at this moment. I still find it to be true that you don’t really wake up one day feeling like an adult. You just find yourself with more bills, responsibilities, joint stiffness, and hair growing in the wrong places.
I have the rare opportunity this weekend to rest without my kids – thanks to my amazing parents – and rest usually leads me to reflection. As I reflect on finishing my 33rd year on this spinning ball of dirt and rock, and am primarily grateful. For my wife, my kids, my parents, my health, my country, my church… and for all the times God saved me from ruining my life.
The older I get, the more totally certain I am that any good in my life – any success or happiness – is all grace. I’m far too naive, selfish, and short-sited to have constructed the amazing things that God has done in my life.
For my 30th birthday, Stephanie arranged for me to have lunch with my pastor and pick his 40-year-old brain about what he would tell his 30-year-old self. I wrote a bit about that here.
Here are a few additional thoughts that I would share with a younger man…
I ran my second marathon last Sunday.
The so-called “City Of Oaks” marathon goes 10 miles through downtown Raleigh – the “City Of Oaks” – then, it turns onto the new greenway and the pain starts.
It was a fantastic experience.
Here are a handful of random thoughts – four days after the fact.
In no particular order and for no particular reason:
One of the coolest things about being a parent is how every day brings new experiences as children grow.
For our 10-month-old, that means watching him learn about fundamental things like gravity, his reflection, and what things are and are not edible.
For our 4-year-old, that means a seemingly endless – often exhausting – stream of questions.
He wants to understand EVERYTHING. And he has no problem asking and clarifying and rephrasing until his curiosity is satisfied….
Running teaches you that there’s a difference between working hard and feeling bad.
Consumer culture tries to teach us otherwise.
How many television commercials talk about “making life easier”?
If everything you knew about life came from TV, your goal would be to live the easiest, most comfortable and unchallenging life you possibly could. You would believe that the only good feelings are sensual pleasures such as the taste of a good soft drink and the fun of driving an expensive car and lying on the beach.
I know this is an unwinnable conversation.
Discussing homosexuality is like talking to a momma about her newborn baby: it could be a squirrel with a pacifier, but you’re a monster if you call it anything but beautiful.
The ‘tolerance’ emperor is naked, but anybody who points that out is being ‘intolerant’, so it’s an impossible discussion.
Millions of people will fill their cars with gasoline purchased from dictators who oppress their people and murder homosexuals and drive to the ‘kiss-in’ later this week to protest HOW a man chooses to be generous.
The hypocrisy of it is almost funny.