So, I turn 30 tomorrow.

Knowing for some time that this day has been coming, I have had a lot of opportunity for reflection and a variety of thoughts…

–Thoughts about our youth-obsessed culture, and how we frantically try to hold on to youth and wish that we were younger than we are.

–Thoughts about how, as a product of my culture, I also wish I was younger than I am.

–Thoughts about how quickly life passes (James 4.13-14). Can I really be this old? Was high school over a decade ago?

–Thoughts about how much (little?) I have accomplished in my life. What have I done with the time I have been given?

–Thoughts about the future, and how weary I get sojourning in this place that is not my true home (Philippians 3.20).

–Thoughts about how my body doesn’t do things as quickly or as strongly or as well as it used to, and how it seems to always hurt.

–Thoughts about being an “old youth minister”, and the challenges of relating to teens who are more than a decade younger than I am.

–Thoughts about how much I’ve learned over the last several years, and how much more I still have to learn.

–Thoughts about all the blessings which God has heaped upon me, and the curious anticipation of what He has in store for me.

Psalm 90, recorded as a prayer of Moses, contains some relevant and profound thoughts:
“Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God. 
You return man to dust 
and say, “Return, O children of man!”
For a thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night. 
You sweep them away as with a flood; 
they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed in the morning:
in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers. 
For we are brought to an end by your anger;
by your wrath we are dismayed.
You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence. 
For all our days pass away under your wrath;
we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you? 
So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Return, O Lord! How long?
Have pity on your servants!
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
and for as many years as we have seen evil. 
Let your work be shown to your servants,
and your glorious power to their children.
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands upon us;
yes, establish the work of our hands!”
My prayer is that I learn to number my days, appreciating each as a gift from God, and using each to His glory.


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