28 years ago give or take a year or two in either direction, my mom turned 40. I remember my friends Dan and Steve Tickerhoof and I really having fun with this. For some reason it struck us as something to really pick on her for. When we wanted her we would say “Hey Four Oh.” We would say “What do you need Four Oh?” It was all sorts of fun to pick on my my mom for turning 40. She took it all in stride, I mean sure there were times that she would respond, just the way we wanted her too, but the bottom line is she was a good sport.
So here I sit, having turned 40 myself, started down this path of healthy eating, and exercise, and having three daughters between the ages of 11 and 2, and well I am realizing more and more that 40 doesn’t look the same on this side of the number as it did back then. I don’t feel 40, not that I really know what 40 feels like, I know that I thought I would be in a different place at 40 than I am, and that may still happen. Things have a way of changing and moving and morphing all around you, especially when you are really looking for what God wants in your life. The funny thing is as I sit typing this and Jo watches one episode of this kitty show she watches, I can’t help but think about what I do.
Most of my days find me out in Leisure world, I sometimes call it OldsVille. The thing that amazes me about the people out there that I work with is that breath of age that is there, also the differences in activity level. Some of the customers don’t do much of anything, some of them are extremely active, some of them run 5 K’s at 80 plus and play in tennis tournaments, others can barely move. They very in age from 50 something to 94. They all have one thing in common. They are trying to stay current, even if the technology they have is older than Amberly (my oldest daughter.) Which brings me to the final piece of this coming of age story…
At 40 we are on the edge of something new, sure it has some of the same things we have done, but this time the buck would stop with us as it were. I’m excited at the prospect but at the same time the waiting is annoying, and the prospect is daunting. We are also keeping details away from everyone except ourselves, mainly because we are going to wait to see what happens. Still standing on the edge of this and realizing the potential, and the work involved I can’t help but think about being 40 and starting something new.
I guess it’s almost like there has been this great preparing going in our lives. Recently we have been reading the story of Joseph in our family time. J has said before that sometimes she wishes I could look at things like Joseph did. I usually tend to identify with people who screwed up but God still was able to use them. She sees me as something and someone more, which in and of itself is pretty cool. We both are somewhat fascinated with Joseph, mainly because of the attitude he had throughout all the things that happened to him. Sure he made mistakes, dreamers usually do, and it usually ends up with other people not understanding them, or they come off as arrogant or un-interested in the people around them, but Joseph gets that worked out of his system. Sure it takes being thrown in a pit, sold as a slave, accusations of rape, time in prison, and being forgotten by the guy who promised he would help Joseph out, but those things did more for Joseph than any doting father could do.
The part of the narrative that strikes me the most is this one;
“Then he kissed all of his brothers one by one, cried on their shoulders as well, and after that they talked for a time together. Gen 45:15 (The Voice)
I would love to have this attitude. I pray that God will work it into my life, of course that may or may not work out all the time. I mean Hey I’m forty and an argument could be made that all the stuff that was happening to Joseph was happening when he was in is 20’s and 30’s. Younger you know, easier to mold and shape…Nah I don’t really think that way. I think that Joseph had tons of times when he was angry, bitter, and wanted revenge. I think that there were days sitting in his cell that he thought of all the ways he could get back at his brothers. I’m pretty sure there were days when he yelled at God, decided to not follow him any more, cried, and then came back weeping wanting to feel that closeness that he thought was gone, because let’s face it when we humans decide to be angry and bitter, and to walk away from God we make the mistake of placing God in the same category that we are in and we assume that he has either stayed right where we left him, or he has walked away too…
I think some of the little tests that Joseph put to his brothers were not just tests to see if they really had changed, I think in the back of his mind he was enjoying watching them squirm. It’s a human thing and there’s no way that he didn’t sort of enjoy the process of the whole thing, and yet he still loved them, and he still hugged all of them, even though they had treated him so porly. I believe that the reason that he was able to do that is because of not in spite of the hardships he suffered. I think that there were things God had to work into Josephs life and those things would not be able to be added to the mix as long as he lived the of the favorite, privileged son
So here we sit at 40, three awesome kids, likely about to embark on a new and different adventure, that may not be seem new to you, but that to us is a whole new place of living and moving and having our being in Christ.
More to come…