Boldly Going Towards 50

Careening towards the Golden Jubilee has been a very surreal experience of late. From seeing lives already come and gone, a lifetime lived already, and a sense of completion, I have been trying to spend my time of late to make the world a better place – not waiting until retirement to try to serve others and prepare for the sunset to come.

Many lives have come and gone in the headlines and in my own life. Most recently a music artist named “Mandisa” passed at 47. I recently learned a childhood acquaintance Kevin Swope passed away several years ago. My friend and church pastor David Spring passed away last year in his very early 50’s. What I’ve become cognizant of is how much of a life I’ve lived during those same lifetimes.

In the same life time so many have lived, I have lived as well. In my life I’ve survived wartime orphaning and nuclear meltdown evacuations (The Vietnam War and Three Mile Island), found success in the city of New York, dashed off to Africa many times, and settled in Nashville area working with inner city kids and adopting a girl-kid along the way. From wartime orphan to adopting a girl-kid there has been a sense of completion.

I can say life has been complete, wanting for nothing and regretting nothing. In term of material things, I have my desires but they have largely been met. I’ve had the opportunity to do many things in life leaving very little to regret. I think regret comes from not having done things in life, and for me there’s been no shortage of things done. Some people wait to do things but I’ve always tried to take anything that comes my way.

I’ve heard phrases like “when I retire I want to volunteer more with the (fill-in-the-blank: church, lions club, rotary club, etc.) “ – but I’ve never believed in waiting until then. What I’ve tried to do in this season is temper my work with serving opportunities so instead of working non-stop until retirement and then volunteering full time somewhere, I will probably finish my life working a tempered amount with a strong amount of volunteering as the sunset comes.

The sunset is coming. I can see it in the distance. As I know the day will come to ride off into it, I know the road to the Golden Jubilee has been a journey that’s seen people come and go but leaving nothing incomplete nor waiting until tomorrow to try to make the world a better place.