Our church has a “PTO” (personal time off) policy, and as a result of the twenty-some-odd days I missed last year, and the fact that I’m the associate pastor and we are still pastorless, it has been hard to schedule time away from work. So I have quite a few days left and it is October already. Today, October 6th, is my 52nd birthday, so I scheduled a personal time off day and stayed home. In all of my working, adult life, I think this is the first time I’ve actually taken my birthday off, or had it as a holiday when it didn’t fall on a Saturday or Sunday. It’s been fun.
Surfing through the channels after lunch, I discover that there’s a brand new Let’s Make a Deal show on television. Different host, nicer set, but this version is pretty much the same show, right down to the sour deals that are part of making the wrong choice. I remember watching it during the summer when I was a kid, in black and white, when $50 seemed like such a large prize, and someone winning a washer and dryer generated huge excitement. The dollar amounts are a lot larger now, and the program has some interesting twists, including offering choices between an amount of money in Thai currency and the mystery behind the curtain. But it sure did bring back memories.
In the long run, 52 is just a number based on a calendar that is measured by the earth’s rotation around the sun. Time has passed. Sometimes, when something jogs my memory, it seems like it’s gone by fast. With other things, it seems like eternity has passed since it happened. I can’t complain. Life has been a blast, for the most part, and I have really learned how to enjoy every minute of it. I’ve been blessed to have been given 52 years of it.
It was fun to be reminded of the past, especially today. But it is also exciting to look ahead to the future. I don’t know what it holds, and that’s exciting. If it has been anything like the past, it is something to look forward to. I saw a list of core values from a church a couple of weeks ago, one of which said “It’s never too late to be who you might have been.” With God’s help, I’m looking forward to that.
If I’d only known then what I know now, I don’t know that I’d have changed a thing. And it sure makes me look forward to what I will know at some point down the road, however long it might be.
Life’s a blessing.