50

Birthday cake for 50 yearsI meant to write these thoughts on my birthday, but as I’ve gotten older time seems to move much more quickly. (Oh, to be 10 again when it seemed like 20 would never come.) A half century has made me appreciate every second of time more; it seems unfair that simultaneously it should pass with increasing rapidity.

But, regardless of its acceleration, there are certain milestones in time that are worthy of inner and outer reflection..and this is one. Going with the “outer” first, this blue planet has never seemed in worse (and worsening) condition to me. And no, it’s not because I am so much more aware of sin (and the results of sin)…decades ago I already agreed with Poison’s statement in “Something to Believe In”: “Sometimes I wish to God I didn’t know now the things I didn’t know then.” Yes, knowledge is a curse in this respect, but it is not why the clouds I see on the horizon are so dark and foreboding.

Time is accelerating only in my perception of it; the world is truly accelerating away from God. I hope for revival, but do not expect it. However, I find consolation in the facts that God is in control, that I’ve read the end of the Book and know it all works out, and that Jesus will return.

He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20, English Standard Version)

Come Lord Jesus…come soon.

Now turning my gaze inward, in his birthday wish for me my friend Anton unintentionally summarized my state well (this is slightly edited since Anton’s first and primary language is not English):

It’s so hard to wish something for the man who has everything!

Yes indeed. I do have everything, and more. The Lord has truly blessed me materially and, although I come up so short on the spiritual side, I know my Redeemer lives (see Job 19:25…and listen to Nicole Mullen sing about it).

I truly do have everything I need both materially and spiritually. Part of my Bible reading today seemed especially applicable:

But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me (Psalm 12:5-6, emphasis mine).

No question…He has dealt bountifully with me.

My inner reflection is not all positive, however. As mentioned above, I frequently come up short on the spiritual side…and although it’s great that Jesus has got me covered, I am ashamed and embarrassed that I so often fail to live up to what I know.

Additionally, I have wasted so much of my 50 years (which disturbs me all the more because it is unlikely I will have 50 more).

Why has my impact been so much less than it should have been? Part laziness, part shallowness, and part lack of focus. It may be prophetic that the day after my birthday Tesla came out with their latest album, “Simplicity.” Over the next few weeks of reflection I think that is really what I need to work to.

Simplifying.

“Simply” put, I need to simplify around priorities: God, family, community, and work (and in that order). Will you pray for me?

I have been blessed in my 50 years on this earth, and hope, in some measure, I have blessed others during them. However, I know that too often I have acted in ways that require forgiveness from individuals and the Most High. However long the Lord chooses to extend my stay this side of eternity, I pray the future is truer to Him than my past was.

I love you all.


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