Today I am 56 years old.
I remember when my parents were in their mid-50s. I thought they were so OLD! Now that I'm that age, I think I'm 32 or so. I don't mean physically, just ... metaphysically. In fact, physically I know I'm aging fast. I have a little arthritic feeling in my finger joints, and when I bang up against the racquetball court wall I feel the effects for days.
Still, I don't feel like I'm 56. I'm still trying to figure life out. When young bucks call me "sir" I stiffen up and want to correct them. I don't know what being 56 should feel like. I think it will take turning 60 to shock me into reality. Gee, that's only four years from now. AAGGHH!
But I like being in my mid-50s. I'm doing what I really enjoy. My wife and I are healthy and active. Three of our four children are happily married and independent. We're able to travel and see them often. I'm able to devote time to God's people and Kingdom expansion. I have great friends. God could take any or all of these privileges away in a heartbeat and still be God, but he has blessed me far more than I deserve.
In a letter to William Farel in 1541, John Calvin wrote: "When I consider that I am not my own, I offer my heart a slain victim for a sacrifice to the Lord . . . I yield my soul chained and bound unto obedience to God."
Lord, that's my prayer to you on this, my 56th birthday.