Who Could Ask For Anything More?

Monday, September 3, 2012

who could ask for anything more?
Today marks a half century for me - 50 years old. I have known people who dreaded their 50th birthday. Many men mark such an occasion by buying that one big thing they have always wanted and somehow think turning 50 is a good excuse to splurge. I have known a few who fell apart and you would have thought someone died. My day has not been marked by any of that. Sure, I have more little aches and pains than I used to, quite a bit more gray hair, and have to use glasses to read now, but I'm actually celebrating all that a little because I see them as badges of honor, so to speak. A few wrinkles means you've been around the block a few times. Dimming eyesight proves you've witnessed real life. Creaking joints are proof that you have been working hard and not just watching life pass you by. To me, life is not half over. At 50, I have only just begun. It's not all uphill from here and it's not coasting downhill the rest of my life either. There are new mountains yet to climb, new pastures to discover, and things to see I haven't yet had the chance to witness. But as I reflect back on the last 50 years, there are a few things I have learned that I don't ever want to forget.

The older I get, the more I realize how much I don't know. 25 years ago I thought I knew everything. Now, I realize I still have a lot to learn. I know some very Godly men who are much older than I am and this is one of the common characteristics I see in men like them. I pray that I never lose the desire to learn and that I never arrive at the place where I think I have learned it all. I have met a few cranky, old codgers along the way who seem to think they know everything and aren't afraid to let everyone else know it.  They are just no fun to be around. God, help me never to be one of those guys.

The older I get, the less important "things" are to me. Birthdays are different because I really don't want stuff. I have all I really need anyway. Actually, I have way more than I really need. I want less stuff and more people in my life. I can honestly say that I am a wealthy man, not because of the stuff I have, but because of the many dear friends God has blessed me with. I'm not talking about "followers" on Facebook or Twitter, but real flesh-and-blood friends that would be at my doorstep with just one phone call if I needed help. That is priceless and the older I get, the more I cherish that in my life. I may not have my house or car tomorrow, but I know they will still be there.

Finally, the older I get, the more important time becomes. I spent my early years racing back and forth, frantically trying to accomplish a lifetime of achievements overnight. I am learning how to slow down a bit and actually enjoy the process and not get so wrapped up in getting there that I miss the beauty and grandeur of the landscape whizzing by me. I'm learning that life is a process and that process takes time. I don't want to be the guy who drives all night to get to our vacation in San Francisco that I don't even notice the Grand Canyon. You would think that the older you get the pace should pick up because you are that much closer to the end. But the opposite is true. We have to stop along the way to see the sights and get to know the people that are there. We have the same amount of time that we had when we were younger. We have just learned how to spend it more wisely.

All of this would be meaningless, of course, if it were not for God in my life. Even if I didn't have everything I just mentioned, I would still have him. He has brought me through so much and to him I am eternally grateful and owe him my life. And one last thing. The greatest treasure I have next to him is the absolutely best woman in the universe by my side and a pretty remarkable young man for a son. What more could a man ask for?

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