I turned 50 today. Half a century. I’m already familiar with some of the “over-the-hill” jokes because I’ve been saying them to my older friends for quite a while. Things like;
“If I call you at 9pm, will I wake you?” Or, “You’d better start eating more preservatives,” and “Did you know Burger King when he was just a prince?” Yea, yea, and watching Jurassic Park brought back memories.
It’s a bit strange to think of myself as 50. For some reason, it just doesn’t sound right. Perhaps it’s because age and maturity don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. I have noticed, however, some obvious changes in my life. Several weeks ago, for example, my wife, Jenn, and I were in Colorado and had the opportunity to do some hiking. One of the rock formations we came across just begged to be climbed up on and would make a great photo-op. So leaving the safety of the path, I ventured off-trail to make my climb.
Following an obvious track up the back of the enormous boulders, I got about half way up when the trail required a short but precarious jump from one boulder to a narrow ledge on the next. Footprints revealed the jump was commonly made, but the rocks and bushes 25 feet below seemed to also reveal there were those who had missed. As I stood there weighing my options, it occurred to me that not too long ago I would never have even considered that if I missed the jump, I would be spending the next week trying to remember the names of my nurses at the hospital.
The various projects I was working on at work as well as the road trip to visit my daughter also whisked through my brain. The more I thought about these things the greater the distance and the narrower the ledge became.
That’s when I realized I was half a century old. After all my years on this planet, a grain of wisdom had indeed ebbed its way into my brain. I turned and headed back down to the safety of the path. “What happened?,” Jenn asked a bit surprised to see me back so quickly. “Oh,” I said rather sheepishly, “I just remembered we have PhotoShop”.
I’m glad the Bible has much to say about getting older. “Happy is the man who finds wisdom and who acquires understanding… She is more precious than jewels; nothing you desire compares with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left, riches and honor (Proverbs 3:13, 15 &16). Then, this matter is so important to God, he made it the fifth of His Ten Commandments, “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life…” (Exodus 20:12). And who of us would not long for this epitaph, “David son of Jesse…died at a good old age, full of days, riches, and honor…” (1 Chronicles 29:26, 28).
So, I shall begin this next half a century looking for even more opportunities to use my new found wisdom. There are many more trails yet to hike. It should be quite a ride.