Dear God, I was reading Fred Smith’s blog today, which I normally do on Thursday mornings, and it got me to thinking (as it normally does). I didn’t necessarily go with it where Fred did, but his description of the new information we have about how oysters make pearls got me to thinking about age and experience.
I told someone yesterday at work that my 49th birthday is coming up, and that when the board of directors hired me in 2005 I was 35 years old. Everyone called me a child back then and I took umbrage to that because I felt very mature. I was a father with two children. I had business and nonprofit experience. I had experienced some loss. No, I was mature.
Of course, as I look back on the last 13 years, I realize that there was so much I still had to learn. But the great thing that that experience brings me is also the acceptance that there is so much I still have to learn. Over 13 years later, I have experienced heartache with children, the aging of parents and in-laws (with the loss of an in-law), failures at work, a dark time in my relationship with you when the costs on my part didn’t seem to pay enough dividends, struggles in my marriage,..
To Fred’s point, different foreign bodies/experiences penetrated my world and it has been my job to walk with you and allow those intrusions to turn into something good for not only me, but for the world around me. But now I am old enough to know that I have not arrived. I have a lifetime ahead of me still. And when I am in my 70s, I will still not have arrived. I will still be sifting and taking the intrusions that come and trying to surround them with your Spirit. Hopefully, by the end, the life that others will see will be a pearl that, while people might not remember me, will be remembered through time by the lives that I touched.
Father, two generations of my lineage from now might never know my name or anything about me, but that’s not why I’m living. I am here much like the lineages we read in the Bible, or the centuries of Israelites that were born, lived, and died in slavery in Egypt. My life is about how you use it for your purposes and the opportunity to worship you now and forever. Please walk with me to make it a pearl with which you are pleased.
In Jesus’ name I pray,