Well, it's finally here. The big number 40. I have to admit, turning 30 didn't bother me that much. It was kind of cool to be in my 30's, but 40, well that just seems strange. It's odd to stop and think that I've been married for over 18 years, am the parent of teenagers (yikes!), own a house and 2 cars, and have a job where businesses actually seek my opinion to make decisions that effect their bottom line. When did I become my parents?
Physically, I feel pretty good. I wouldn't mind shedding a few pounds, but I try to get to the gym 2-3 days a week, lead a fairly active lifestyle, and eat healthy. Though I have noticed that it takes my body longer to recover these days after a workout and I wake up every morning with a backache, which I know is only going to get worse. I don't think of myself as old, though I'm reminded daily by my kids that I'm not as young and cool as I think I am. This is especially true when the topic turns to music. They are constantly trying to convince me that the music I like is old and dated. However, I just write it off to the ignorance of youth because we all know 70's and 80's music rocks. I mean that's just a given really and some day they'll realize it. But I digress.
It's just odd to think that almost as much of my life is behind me as is in front of me and I admit that freaks me out. Where did the time go? What have I done with the last 40 years? How much time have I wasted on things that don't really matter and what opportunities have I missed out on because of it? Will the next 40-50 years go just as fast, or faster?
In the midst of struggling with and reflecting on these questions, I realize that my first 40 years have actually been truly blessed. God has given an amazing wife to walk with me on this journey and there is no one else I'd rather walk it with. He's given me 3 amazing children that I get the privilege of watching grow up and become the men and women God created them to be. I couldn't be prouder of them and am thankful for the relationship I have with each of them. He's given me supportive parents, grandparents, in-laws, and extended family. He's given me great friends, many of which I've been friends with for almost 30 years. He's given me the opportunity to get a good education and a good job. He's opened doors to give me the opportunity to coach and hopefully make an impact on the next generation. He's given me a wonderful church family that encourages and challenges me in my spiritual walk. He's given me the opportunity to travel to some amazing places. He's placed some amazing people (pastors, teachers, coaches, friends' parents) in my life over years that have helped to mold and shape me.
I pray that I haven't wasted too many of His blessings over the years and that I would embrace the opportunities He presents in the future.
In spite of being a little freaked out, I'm looking forward to this next era of my life. In looking forward it's been helpful for me to look back over my life and be reminded of God's faithfulness. This was really brought home for me on Saturday as we attended my cousin's wedding (congratulations Melissa and Ryan). Weddings are such a great picture of hope for the future. It was encouraging to see the bride and groom laughing and enjoying themselves with a hopeful anticipation of their future together. At the same time we sat at a table with several very dear friends that I go way back with. It was great to laugh and just enjoy each others company. As we reminisced about old times and talked about future plans (and gave each other a hard time about all of us being over 40), I was actually encouraged about getting older. I realized that even though I'm entering a new phase in my life, I have just as much to be hopeful for as my newly wedded cousin. Because God is the same today as He was yesterday and will be the same in the future, I can have the confidence that He will remain faithful and that He will continue to mold and shape me into the man He wants me to be.
Because of His faithfulness and the people He's put in my life, I can embrace turning 40 and not dread it. It may take me a while to adjust, but I know in the end this may be my best decade yet.