So, now I’m 50. The big 5-0. Half a century.
It’s only a number, right? But the arrival of my AARP Card in last week’s mail was something of a shock.
I remember how old 50 used to seem. In 1975 I was looking through the Almanac (that’s what 13-year old nerds who grow up to be on Jeopardy do in their spare time) and noticed that the talk show hosts Johnny Carson, Mike Douglas, and Merv Griffin were all born in 1925. They were all 50! Old men, I thought. Ancient.
When I was about 25 and worked at a Wilderness Camp for adjudicated youth, I was in the dining hall once when a food salesman came in. I overheard part of his conversation with the cook: “Yeah, I’m 50. But it’s great. The pressure’s off. I know now I will never be the Governor of the Great State of North Carolina. I will never be a millionaire. I will never go into space.”
It sounded like he was saying 50 is when you put your dreams away. When you give up.
Well now I’m 50 and my response to that is . . . not me! I see no reason not to keep dreaming, and no reason not to believe that God still has surprises left for me. I’m the Unexpected Pastor (and unexpected Christian); what unexpected things await I have no idea (that’s why they are unexpected, silly).
My favorite Bible verse – Ephesians 2:10 – still says, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”
I’m still God’s masterpiece (and so are you), and masterpieces only get more valuable as they get older! And God still has “good things” planned for me to do, I’m sure. I can’t wait to find out what they are.
But I do have to give up some of my dreams.
Ever since I learned my times tables I have hoped that I could remember that 7×8 is 56 without doing 7×4 in my head then adding 28 plus 28. That’s probably not going to happen.
I hoped that someday I would be able to remember whether Romeo’s last name was Montague or Capulet without first remembering Juliet’s by going “Juli-ET Capu-LET.” (That actually came up in a game my trivia team played yesterday. Yeah, I’m on a Trivia Team. It’s what 50-year old nerds who have been on Jeopardy do.) Not going to happen, either.
And I hoped that someday I would remember how many “m’s” tomorrow has without looking it up or being corrected by spell check. But that’s probably a lost cause, too.
Other than that, I’m ready for tomorrow even if I can’t spell it. Ready for my second half-century. Ready for whatever God has planned!
Happy Birthday! My wife also turns 50 this week, but she’s been in denial about her age as long as I’ve known her (and when I first met her, she was younger than the age I am now)
I remember when I was young (around grade 4) and we were to do a project about what the world would look like in the year 2000. I remember thinking that “I’ll be 28 then ! My goodness, I’ll be *old*! Needless to say, neither the world as depicted by my project, nor my thoughts on my age, panned out.
(Oh, and I completely relate to reading the almanac as a youngster, the reference section of my school’s library was my sanctum sanctorum. There was one atlas there that had nobody’s name on the checkout card save my own, over and over and over and over. Provided the atlas (and checkout card!) are still there, this is probably still the case.
5 6 7 8 56=7X8 I am glad you have that attitude because 50 years of experience is put to good use as the years pass! I see nothing about you that says you will slow down or give up on dreams!
You’ve aged like a fine wine or fine cheese. You’ve gotten better with age. I am blessed to be the unexpected pastors wife. ❤ Amen!
You made it to half a century! Congrats! Here’s to the next 50!