On Turning 40

I have dreaded this day for quite some time.  Yes, I know that this confession will subject me to some mild criticism but the truth is I have made_in_1974_custom_invite-re1606b2cf1eb44e5a43f798be71f2610_imtet_8byvr_324dreaded turning 40 ever since I turned 30. It’s weird, I know, but don’t judge me.  It just feels like I officially moved into Geezerville (no offense to those already in this elite club).  At least I can say that I share a birthday with Albert Einstein but that’s about all we have in common.  This is part of the down side of turning 40.  I look back at my life and think of how little I have accomplished.  I have been rather introspective the last year or so as 40 loomed on the horizon.  I have lamented what little I have been able to get done at my age.  Although on the bright side it seems to me that at this point in life, one is able to see themselves with greater clarity and less presumption.  I think one develops a little more confidence at this stage of life.  What others think of you is not as important as it was in your 20s and early 30s.  Even so, I move forward with feet of clay.

This introspection has not been entirely gloomy though.  I have also reflected on how much God has blessed me.  God has blessed me with a wonderful birth family–my parents loved (and still love) their children and sought to instill in us good and noble character qualities as well as a godly orientation. I am indebted to them for all they have sacrificed for us.  God has blessed me by drawing me unto Himself when I was 11 years old.  God has blessed me by allowing me to serve Him as a full-time vocation and plant Bible Baptist Church.  God has blessed me with a wonderful church family.  God has blessed me by maturing me through necessary and sometimes painful lessons.  God has blessed me with Julie, my beautiful, faithful, loving, and supportive wife.  I don’t deserve her but God granted me a priceless gift in her.  God has blessed Julie and me with four children, one of whom is in heaven.  Abigail, Samuel, and Isaiah have never brought me more joy (as well as the occasional headache).  God has blessed me with wonderful in-laws and a great extended family through marriage.  We all enjoy one another’s company at family gatherings and vacations.  God has blessed me with friends who make life’s journey a little more enjoyable.  The list of God’s blessings could go on and on.

The future both excites and perplexes me.  I have no clue how much time I have left.  My hope is that I can grow old(er) with Julie and enjoy whatever God has for us.  I want to see my children grow up to love God and serve Him and the world around them.  But I want to leave something in this world that outlasts me.  Life is short.  Every breath is a gift from my Heavenly Father.  I want my life to count–I want to display Christ to those around me.  The only reasonable service for me is to live for God because I exist for Him (Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 8:6).  C.T. Studd was one of the Cambridge Seven who resolved to serve as missionaries to China in 1885.  Studd would go on to mission work in India and Africa as well.  He famously said, “Only one life, twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”  A Christ-exalting ambition is what I want to drive me in the days ahead.

Well, you have been kind enough to grant me a couple minutes out of your day to read this (and I’m sure you wish you could have them back).   I know you have other more pressing things to do than to read a 40-year-old man’s incoherent ramblings.  So 40–ready or not–here I come!

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11 thoughts on “On Turning 40

  1. Observation on “success” … you don’t have to change the world … just be faithful in your patch. AND whatever successes you have are the Lord’s. One thing I’ve learned is not to be strident about fring issues. This is from the ESV Study Bible: Essential vs. Peripheral Doctrine. Oftentimes fundamentalists seize upon something … examples: versions, birth control, cremation vs burial, Christian day school vs public vs home school, drinking in moderation, dress code for church, pants, et cetera. The wise pastor focuses

  2. Other geezer advice: Delegate. And if you hover you have not delegated. This was Jethro’s advice to Moses. Spend less nights out and more nights at home. Take at least 1 day off a week and 2 if you can. Take an annual vacation with the family. It’s not a sin to invest and as a matter of fact to NOT prepare financially for your future is sin. From that .. I trust you are investing (I’m not an investment advisor and not selling anything! Just giving geezer advice). Read your Bible for yourself and not just for sermon prep. Make evangelism a priority: have a goal like I want to make a gospel-connection once a week.

  3. I hit the big number in just under two months. But since I work primarily with the elderly, I have a different perspective (as in, I don’t think 40 is all that old.)

    I will say that today it occurred to me that, if I live to the biblical age of 70 (threescore years and ten), I have lived over half my life, and I only have 30 years left, so I should make them count for Christ (if I get all of them, that is).

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