Friday, March 20, 2009

Mile Markers

They tell us some things if we pay attention to them. They tell us where we are so we have some geographical perspective as to our whereabouts. They tell us how far we’ve traveled. They remind us of how far we have yet to go to reach a particular distant destination.

Thoughts on the occasion of turning 55 on this first day of spring:

Oh yeah. Thank you. I’m doing quite nicely for a ’54 model.

It’s kind of funny how we expect things to be a certain way at a certain point in life. As though we really have some control over the way life is supposed to pan out. I’ve tried it. Several times. Time and again. Oh the best laid plans of mice and men! Foxes. Little foxes. Running everywhere. Not to mention the occasional wolf dressed in sheepskin. Or my own plain stupidity.

Time and again I thought I had it figured out. Time and again I launched myself in one direction or another. Relationships ended disastrously. Ministerial careers paths swallowed, digested, discharged, and left me feeling like ... . Secular jobs? More than a few in diverse categories.

Don’t misunderstand. There is no “crying in my beer” going on here. No poor, poor pitiful me syndrome. I’m one of the most fortunate souls plodding the sod. Academically educated. Scarred by the hard ugliness of life. A pioneer. A survivor. Multi-crafted. Multi-skilled. Happily mowing grass and doing lawn care in a very God-real world. Content. Honestly content.

Life?

Something fluid and flowing and meant to be lived with a sense of casual anticipation.

Questions?

Plenty of questions begging for answers. More questions than answers, enough to generate generous levels of insanity.

Dilemma?

Not many simple yes or no answers.

Two grand conclusions at the 55 marker:

I’m not as smart as I thought I was. I suppose there are some people that are glad I finally figured that out. Oh. I’m still plenty smart. I prefer to think of it as refined intelligence. But admitting my own shortfall in the knowledge department, avoiding showing my ignorance by trying to act real smart, has really begun to spare me some of the difficulties that I’ve always had a way of incurring for myself when I lived in the “fixing people” realm.

In some ways I’m smarter than I think I am. Maybe smarts have nothing to do with it. Maybe I’ve fallen onto a streak of luck after all these years. No. Luck has nothing to do with the life I’m living. I prefer to think that I’ve found a hidden bag of pearls. Paid the price for the field. Learned to honestly count the cost involved in building towers. Some towers take a lot of coin. A lot more coin than I have in my pocket.