Thursday, June 29, 2017

"When I Turned 40"

I've never been one that was affected by birthdays or getting a year older, or anything like that! After all, I've felt "18" ever since I was, well...."18"! I had, however, been anticipating the landmark of turning "40"! I achieved this back in 2009, and much to my chagrin, it affected me GREATLY! I was utterly shocked and a bit embarrassed, AND I felt like an emotional basket case....hmmmm, was this early "mid life"? I've always been a nostalgic dude, and I long to live in a "childlike" sense of wonder, imagination, faith, and awe! But, I realized something in the 6 months leading up to my 40th--the runway to turning 40, if you will--for much of my "adult" life, I was more jaded and insecure than I was aware of. I was sort of on the proverbial couch for those 6 months! I was the most revealing, yet painful period of my life that I can remember. So, as I crossed the threshold "into manhood", I realized that alot had to change! Things that I had grown good at justifying had to be laid down, perspectives and definition had to be re-positioned and re-defined, and relationships that I thought were genuine but turned out to be pretty one-sided had to be walked away from! Those were good things, I believed! It seemed that the first 39 years of life for me had been a rehearsal! Now, it was time to live the life I'd been practicing for, albeit awkwardly and by trial and error! Those few people who really know me (and that's a VERY FEW), know that I love laughter, peace, Christmas, family, and solid relationships! What I'd seen recently though, was that I'd been taken to a dark place in certain areas of my life. Places that I never thought God wanted me to be. Maybe, just maybe though, God used that time to reveal things buried inside that I had failed to face and deal with. That "mid course correction" could have been God's way of putting me back in the position I was created for--purity, peace, purpose, wonder, and inimitable joy! Those 6 months were pure hell as God opened up the dark caverns of my heart to me! I was at peace with the fact that He knew my heart. I sure as heck didn't! Not sure whose life I had been living, but I don't believe it was the one that I knew, as a child, I would live! Where did I go wrong. Was I at a point of corrected focus? Would I then start seeing what He planned for me all along? Had that hell actually been healing? Was I back to a child? Would those questions be answered? And so I penned the following words as sort of a goal for what I hoped my life would look like on the other side of 40.

The next 40...

The first 40, I defined myself by what I did; the next 40, I'll define myself by who I am.

The first 40, I was insecurely cocky; the next 40, I'll be humbly confident.

The first 40, I was out to prove myself; the next 40, I'll be content to simply BE myself.

The first 40, I needed and lived for the validation, approval, and acceptance of others; the next 40, I'll live in the reality that I've always been validated, approved, and accepted by the ONLY ONE I need--the ONLY ONE who matters.

The first 40, I wasted time trying to find out who I really was; the next 40, I'll take time to enjoy who I really am.

The first 40, I lived like a slave to the perspective of others; the next 40, I'll live in the freedom of the perspective of the only One who matters.

The first 40, I HAD to be right!; the next 40, I won't always be, AND, I'll admit it.

The first 40, I wanted to be in control; the next 40, I'll just be in love and live like it!

The first 40, I lived like 98% of the rest; the next 40, I'll live in the 2%

The first 40 years have been a rehearsal; the next 40 years......It's for real!

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