Turning 56

Another year older, and I’m at peace with it. I never EVER imagined being fifty six, but since I’ve arrived at this august marker I’m resolute to embrace it with joy. “Dethroning the idol of youth” is what I’m thinking; Another year closer to Jesus, and hopefully another year more like him.

A little gang of fifteen students, (the oldest of which was less than half my age), took me to lunch down by the sea. For a birthday gift I asked each one to share some word of wisdom, and so while the Pacific breakers crashed behind us I was treated to a smorgasbord of international advice. Afterward we found a grassy spot and played volleyball, and I felt God smile at me. “This is especially for you” He said.

I love my life. Childhood dreams never stretched so far as to imagine the kingdom adventure I get to live every day. Challenges keep squeezing me forward, like this week’s fresh conviction to surrender my preference for comfort and prerogative of holding onto things. (In a years’ time I intend to own measurably fewer possessions than I own now).

After sunset I found a place on the seawall and watched – or more accurately – experienced the thunderous Pacific waves. They’re unusually massive this week due to stormy weather. It was a good day all the way around.

For age is opportunity no less than youth itself, though in another dress. And as the evening twilight fades away the night is filled with stars invisible by day.

H. W. Longfellow

7 thoughts on “Turning 56”

  1. Don.
    Measurably fewer possessions sounds like quite a wonderful thing, and pounding waves of the Pacific sounds powerful. I must say the Island would be a great place to celebrate your birthday!
    I am glad to have met you.

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  2. Don- Well, a very belated ‘Happy Birthday’ !!! This year I’ll be 80 and like you ,life has been richer and fuller than I ever expected or could dream of. Last year at this time my son was still calling me every day. Now he calls at least once a week, so I know I am beginning to seem and be more independent. I won’t be at the ocean ,but I will be able to celebrate w/my daughter on ‘our’ birthday and the very next day we’ll go to hear my favorite concert pianist play something by Liszt for solo piano and chorus. I only saw the ocean after Paul and I married and I immediately learned to love the waves pounding on the shore. Your ‘Courts of the King’ is being played every day now. Just like Pratt you treat music w/a tenderness that is so special. Still hoping our paths will cross sometime while I’m still here on planet earth. Love and smiles,
    Janet

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  3. Dear Don: I think back to the times you and other young people sat on the floor of our living room for bible study and fellowship. Every now and then I hear something about some of you that gives me a glimpse of how God is continuing to use you in the lives of others and to spread the gospel. It seems after I have had a glance back in my mind to that time I hear either from or about one of you. I still pray for Adam and can see him in my mind what he looked like when you returned to Bosnia that first time and exclaimed, “You came back, you came back.” God Speed dear younger brother.

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  4. Don, I remember celebrating your 40th! And being among those young people less than half your age. 😀
    I can’t believe all the years that have passed, or that all these years later I still find so much joy in the peace and wisdom that God reveals to me through you.

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