On Turning 40…

“There is a time for everything….” Ecclesiastes 3:1a

So…my oldest son is forty years old today. In fact, the year he was born his birthday fell on Easter Sunday. And I am wondering how in the world I am old enough to have a 40 year old son!?! This just isn’t possible. And yet here I am wishing Josh a very happy 40th birthday!

I remember when I turned 40. It was definitely a milestone and yet I wasn’t upset over being 40. For that matter I haven’t been upset over turning any age except one…I did not want to turn 23. I was in fact, incredibly annoyed about turning 23. And please do not ask me why as I have no earthly clue why I was so indignant about turning 23. All I know is: I just was.

But I think birthdays are funny that way. There are some…many in fact that we celebrate and the age is nothing more than a number that signifies we are one year older and it doesn’t matter. But then there are those birthdays and typically it tends to be ones that end in zero…unless you are me…and they seem to be a reminder of the simple fact we are getting older and have entered into a new decade. They remind us of the things we have yet to accomplish and the things we have not and may never accomplish. They tend to put us in an introspective frame of mind.

Maybe it is why I love the words of Ecclesiastes 3:1 – 8 as it is a reminder that there is a season and a time for everything. Maybe it is why I love the poem, “The Road Not Taken,” by Robert Frost that reminds us we have choices and for every choice we make there are choices we will not make and paths left undiscovered. And the truth of the matter is, it is all ok. Our lives are what our lives are. We can look back with regret or we can celebrate what we did accomplish and strive to do those things we still want to do.

But…we need to do some discerning here. What we wanted to accomplish in our twenties may not be what we still want to do now. So, our lists change and that too is ok. The questions is: what is it you want? What is still on your “bucket list” that calls to you? Those are the things that you should do. And there is one more thing to remember: Growing old is a privilege.

So, if you are interested, here is what I have decided: I am not going to grow old. I will instead decide one day to declare “I am old.” But then instead of choosing to be old, I will be eccentric.

So, here’s to birthdays and being eccentric. And a very special and happy birthday to my son Josh on his fortieth birthday. Love you bunches!

Peace,

Pastor Beth

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