Tuesday, August 8, 2017

39 and NOT holding...

Today is my last day in my thirties.  Tomorrow is my 40th birthday, and I don't think I could love that idea any more.  For real.  This surprises me because I've heard forty bad-mouthed my whole life.  I think of black balloons and pending hospitalizations from spontaneous bodily disintegration.

But, if 40 is old (which it isn't), and old is wise (which it can be), I'm celebrating that.  The wisdom of growing older, of knowing more and more who I am and what I'm about.  That is an incredible feeling.

If I had to deliver a 40th birthday speech to the whole world in ten seconds, I think it would be this:

Some things need doing better than they've ever been done before.  
Some just need doing.   
Others don't need doing at all.
Know which is which!
(author unknown)


Let your God get bigger, and try to imitate the God you believe in.  

The End.

Ecclesiates says "there's nothing new under the sun", but I still experience things for the first time, all of the time.  In a couple of days, I'm supposed to sing the National Anthem for more than a thousand people (Pray for me, I'm terrified!).  In the past month alone, I made a meatloaf without a recipe and it was delicious (A miracle worthy of investigation by the Magisterium), attempted reading War and Peace (and decided it was in the "things that don't need doing at all" category), had a patient climb out of a hospital bed to get on her knees for prayer, did my first podcast, made a new friend, and peed in a Gatorade bottle. 
If I live to be 85-90 (my loose ideal), I can only imagine what that list will look like by then.  Or maybe I will be like my 99-year-old patient who is still "disgusted with her prayer life".  If I die tomorrow, I am grateful for the list, so far.

In the next 40 years, I want to learn Spanish well, continue learning to play the guitar, walk the Way of St. James, and keep the better-than-good things I already have, which are many.  In a word, relationships.  

I have friends, family, and an incredible job as a chaplain in a healthcare system.  Meeting people, learning their stories, and sharing in their joy and pain, are among my greatest privileges and treasures.  

But, I start and end my days at home.  My priority, crowning achievement, greatest challenge, inspiration, thrill, and triumph is living under the same roof with these people.

If they were not who they are, I would not be who I am.  At the end of my life, I pray that if I haven't done anything else, I've done well by them, and by all whom God has entrusted to me. 

And so I pray.  


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