Monday, August 12, 2013

Turning ...

I remembered a song from years ago by Randy Stonehill titled "Turning Thirty". That was a tah-dah moment for him I guess. I've had a few tah-dah days in the past few years. When I turned 45 (I think) I began to contemplate how old my father was when he died. I was only nine and, to me, my father was old. As it turned out, my father was about 42 when he died. I suddenly realized how young he really was. I began to imagine how my children would have been affected if I had died at 42. How would things have turned out for them. What about Martha?

Then, even more recently, I began to contemplate how old my mother was when I started college. I was the last of the kids at home. When I moved onto Samford's campus my mom moved "home" to Hanceville, AL, to live in the Little House my father built when they were first married. I was 18 at that time and I thought my mom was old. I imagined her moving to the mountain to spend her last few years on earth. She was 52. I see now why she re-married. She was still a young woman with a lot of life in front of her.

I just turned 54 today. It's amazing to think how different age looks when you are looking forward, and then backward. My parents were both "old" when they hit the milestones mentioned previously. Now I see how "young" they really were.

I don't feel old. It's not until I look in the mirror that I realize I am aging. On the inside it seems like just yesterday that I was running with my friends at West Birmingham Christian School; Rusty, Jeff, Joey, and Jimmy. It seems like just a few years ago I spent night after night talking with my friend, Ed, until 5 am, knowing I had to get up at 6 am to go to school or work.

I still remember the lyric and melody to all of the songs I sang with Windborne, traveling with some of the greatest guys you could ever imagine; David M., Kevin, Rick, David S., Larry, Bobby, Barry, and a host of others I can't remember at the moment.

If it weren't for the many pictures I have of my children showing their progression in age I would not believe that they are now grown; each of them beautiful individuals, pursuing life with abandon. I find myself positioned in the bleachers cheering them on, hoping they find everything that they want out of life.

It seems like just a few short years ago that I married my precious wife, Martha. We celebrate 34 years of marriage next month. It has been a great ride so far, and I'm looking forward to more!

Then today, I had another tah-dah moment. Out of nowhere I had an epiphany of one aspect of my life that, until now, I had never realized. All of my life I have had music as a hobby. When I was in college I sang with Windborne. When I started my career in computers I served as a part-time music guy everywhere I've been: East Side, Word of Life, Paulding, and Agape. In 1997, my dream of one day being in full-time vocational ministry became a reality. My "hobby" was now my job!

I just realized this today, at 54. I have been doing for 15 years what I dreamed of doing for most of my life, and had never really given it much thought. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but it hit me like a ton of bricks.

So, what's next? Now that I'm doing what I love, what else can I do as a hobby? I'm going to start kicking the tires on a few things and see what the Lord my have for me in addition to what I'm doing. I'm excited to see what might develop.

Regardless of your age, never stop dreaming! You will always be "turning ..." but that doesn't mean it's over. Consider it a page, not the back cover. Write on each page as much as possible. Write small or write large, but fill each page with everything that will fit on it. Once you "turn" you can't go back. This is not a call for regret, but a call to redeem the time.

I'm just glad I'm still "turning ..."