For it is by grace you have been saved...

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Reflections on Another Revolution

One more revolution.  I've survived 48 of them now.  Not the war and rioting kind of revolution, though there have been enough of those.  But I'm talking about the revolutions our fair earth has made around the sun.  I've made that trip 48 times now as of last weekend.  More than some, not nearly as many as others.  But my fair share. 

In the last year our oldest daughter graduated college and left to spend a year in Germany.  Our youngest daughter graduated high school. With the oldest son in between, that leaves only the little guy as a "child" in our household now. Having a hard time with that one on the questionnaires: "How many children currently live in your home?"  "1."  Only one, really?!

Health wise, I'm pretty blessed.  I just reflected on that little cup and needle thing, and the results say I'm pretty good, so that all worked out.  I do have a degenerative eye condition and just found out I have a bit of "moderate high frequency hearing loss" whatever that means.  But overall, I'm in pretty good shape for an out of shape guy.  

Can't say I'm having a mid life crisis.  Honestly, if this is mid life, I'm a bit scared.  I don't want to live to be 94. Nothing wrong with any 96-year-olds out there.  I'm just not so sure I want to hang around this old world that long.  

I am to the point of being ready for the grandparent thing.  For the longest time, when I'd go to the hospital to visit a church family having a baby, if the lady at the information desk asked me if I was the grandfather, I took that as an insult. Now I say, "I wish!"  I'm looking forward to that part of life.  Not that my kids are being helpful in that regard.  Got to get them married off first, and they just aren't cooperating.  But I guess God has a plan, and I have to patiently wait for that, too!  (Not that I don't spend some time teasing the older ones about the whole thing!)

Again, no mid life crisis, but honestly....there are some struggles.  After almost 25 years as a pastor, there are times I feel a bit drained.  Again, I know a lot of guys who have gone a lot more years, seen a lot more "action," etc.  But sometimes...  There are weeks when I just feel weary, and sermon prep is just a struggle.  The old brain just doesn't work like it used to. 

My oldest says I need a "sabbatical."  Yeah, the idea of taking a couple months off sounds great.  But, for a small church, that's not very practical.  I'm hoping to take at least a couple days here in a couple months to attend a little conference.  I don't get the chance to do that very often, and I'm looking forward to it.  

Sometimes I think this is part of the problem.  A lot of "outgo" and not a lot of chances for "intake."  Again, I know a lot of men have done a lot more than me with a lot less, but I'm pretty weak. I sort of need to be taught and encouraged and challenged, and I need the ministry of others to do that.  The internet is great for that, having such a ready supply of teaching available.  What a blessing, and I feel so pathetic for even complaining.  But there are days when I think it would just be nice to sit back and be taught for awhile.

Well, enough of the whining.  Overall, I'm so blessed.  I have a beautiful, understanding, encouraging wife.  I have four great kids, three of whom God has grown into outstanding young adults.  I have a church family that loves me and prays for me.  In fact, in spite of a few bumps along the way, God has been extraordinarily gracious to our little church family and we are looking at great days ahead.

All this seems small when I look at the real revolutions going on in the world, the real persecution our brothers and sisters are facing in so many places, so many other things.  Who am I to complain about anything?

In front me stretches another potential revolution.  I'm anxious to see what God will do with it.  I know I can't do anything, but I also know each revolution I survive is because of His grace and because He has a plan for it.  So I look forward to what He will do.  And I pray that each trip around the sun brings honor to the Son, and rejoice that it brings me closer to my eternal home.  Until that day, we press on.  Soli Deo Gloria!

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