I turned 40 yesterday and while the back’s a bit creaky after the golf round (too many shots!), it’s fair too say I don’t feel very different than I did at 39 and 364 days. I have been reflective though. I’m grateful for many things; my marriage, my children, my church but one thing stood out to me as more significant than anything else. I’m grateful that my relationship with God is more alive now than any other time in my life.
I’ve decided that this is down to one thing; learning to pay attention to my heart and guard it for it is the wellspring of my life (Proverbs 4:23). The exciting thing for me is that I still have so much to learn about this. It means that there is more life and growth to be experienced. The sobering thought is that my growth has come about from wrestling with the suffering and heartache I have endured, personally, and with my wife, Kiley. There will be more suffering and more wrestling to come. I don’t know what the future holds, but I take comfort from the words of Jesus, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33 TNIV).”
We follow a crucified and risen Saviour. Every day there is an invitation to die to the old and rise to the new. Every day there is an invitation to choose to follow Jesus. Every day there is an invitation to choose life in him. But we follow him into the world and not only that, we take up our cross and follow him (Luke 9:23). Suffering is inevitable but knowing the life of Jesus in you is optional. We need to follow him closely, walk with him attentively, sit with him patiently. Every day is a new beginning and new choices need to be made. As Moses said to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 30:19, “Choose life.”
As they say, life begins at 40 (see below)!