I turned 45 years old recently. I’ve survived that many years. Saying this at the end of the hardest years of my life is a miracle in its own right, and looking at the big picture, I am blessed there have been no major bodily glitches.
- God has awoken me from slumber for over 16,434 days straight (not counting naps, of course).
- My lungs have moved oxygen in and carbon dioxide out for more than 394,416 consecutive hours.
- My heart has rhythmically pumped that oxygen around my veins and through my arteries for over 23,663,960 minutes in a row.
It’s amazing, really, when you think about failure rates of things we build these days. What are the odds that not one single thing goes wrong on any given day? That all systems are “go” for years and years and years? And, God willing, many more.
But let’s be honest, 45 doesn’t look the way I thought it would. And life hasn’t turned out the way I planned.
When I was a kid, it looked OLD. REAL old.
As a teenage, it seemed ignorant.
In my 20s, it appeared boring.
As a 30-something, well….it started to look younger. MUCH younger.
Now that I’m here, it feels young and wise and a little more tiring. And there are days when I still don’t know what the hell I am doing.
When I look back on the whole of my 16,434+ days. I pick up on the patterns even though most were ordinary days: some were good; others bad; all contained lessons learned and taught.
There were happy times and certainly some sad ones.
There were hours of ugly girl laughs and hours of ugly girl cries.
There were seasons of happy harvests of utter joy…
I’ve had my fair share of surprising plot twists…small wins….big victories…devastating losses…and hard times overcome.
Forty-five feels like a crossroads of sorts, and I’m standing in the intersection looking both ways, evaluating the paths, trying to figure out which way to go.
And even though it doesn’t look like I thought it would and life hasn’t turned out the way I hoped or planned, it does know that Hope rises in the most unlikely places…in the most surprising ways…when you least expect it.
Forty-five has lived long enough to know that beauty rises from the ashes.
It knows Spring always comes after the Winter.
It knows fruit follows pruning.
It knows after the seed dies, there is a harvest.
It knows that even if I don’t know what I’m doing, God does.
It knows He still has a plan, and He’s still working.
He is sending down shoots into the earth.
He is tending the soil.
He is watering the roots.
He is preparing the way.
And He is reminding me of the ancient words of King Solomon…
For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Forty-five knows God makes everything beautiful in its time (Eccl 3:11), and that weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning (Ps. 30:5)