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 dreaded 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!