A year ago to the day, I turned fifty. 50. Half a century. As you’d expect, friends decorated my front yard with the usual props of gravestones and cobwebs, pithy slogans of ‘nifty, nifty, look who’s fifty?’ were inscribed upon my curb, and the AARP lost no time in locating me.
It really was no big deal.
Flash forward to today.
Today, I turn fifty-one. And it won’t be a big deal.
But if I’m honest, I can’t say that it’s not a big deal in my heart. To be true, there already has been birthday wishes sent via Facebook and text messages, and I am so thankful for the many blessings I have in the form of family and friends. Friendship and love will be shared in ways I don’t deserve, and I’m humbled by these expressions.
But it won’t be a big deal.
This year is not one of those ‘milestone’ events. Thankfully there won’t be the need to remove Thriller-style cadavers from the yard. Trust me, I’m good with that. But it feels like I have reached the stage in life when our culture expects less and less of us ‘older folks.’ I’m not whining about things left undone or any crap like that. No self-indulgence allowed in my front yard!
Because I don’t feel old.
I’m not one of those guys who’s trying to look young, act cool, blah blah blah. We’ve all seen them, and you know who you are. Yes, I have lost some significant poundage from my fleshy torso, but not in an attempt to be young again…I’m just trying to stay alive! And I have no plans to purchase any Grecian Formula for Men in the foreseeable future.
If you know me at all, you’ll know that I’m one of those freaky people always looking and usually finding ‘the silver lining’ in whatever life throws my way.
Some days it’s hard to find them.
But strangely, not today. When I pray, I almost without fail begin in this fashion:
“Father, thank you for the gift of this day…”
Today I’ll look in the mirror and see a man with ‘silver linings’ creeping into my hair, and laugh lines deepening into signs of the years I’ve earned and the things I’ve seen and done. I may be outwardly older, but in my heart burns the fire of someone who has yet to see the finish line. I’m just now beginning to see perhaps the true shape of what God is wanting me to be when I grow up.
Today, I do thank the Father for the gift of life, and for knowing he has incredible plans for me…adventures only beginning, with places to go and songs to sing. I will play and sing until my strength fails and my guitar turns to dust.
Today I turn fifty-one.
And it IS a big deal…
I think I found the silver lining for this day.