Monday, May 13, 2013

50 Today

Today is my 50th Birthday.

I wish I had some pithy comments, some wise and sage remarks I could make here, about "things I have learned" and so forth, at this half-century mark.

I don't.

I have made a lot of mistakes in my life; I've squandered a lot of opportunities; and whether we're talking about Careers, or Finances, or Marriage, or Parenting, or Personal Health, or even Spiritual Growth, I am near the bottom of the ladder as a "model of success" in any of these categories.

But here are a few things I CAN share, from this point along the trail that winds through the forest of Life, where I am stopping, today, to rest my feet, drink from my canteen, and look around for a bit:

(1)  "To believe with Certainty, one must begin by Doubting."  One's World View absolutely colors everything about Life; the wise person knows, then, to pursue Truth, and maintain and open mind and a willingness to hear all sides, throughout the life-long process of putting together a world view.  A closed mind is the darkest place in the universe.

I cling to the Christian world view with a skeptical hand, more sure than ever that it is the Truth even as I avoid much of what comprises typical "Christian culture".  My wife is a believer in Jesus, too, and my kids are finding their way; I pray for them often, especially in this regard...

I believe in the Truth of the Christian world view, and more so as each year passes.

(2)  Married Love -- deeper and more meaningful with each passing year -- is truly one of Life's greatest joys.  Marriage either makes you better or it makes you worse;  and if you miss its full potential (philosophically, spiritually, sexually, emotionally), well, that is really too bad...  That's not to say that Marriage is always "blissful"... It means Marriage is (or CAN be) growth-bearing.  Sometimes that growth is enjoyable, and sometimes it's not.  But growth is always GOOD.

I love my wife, Sharon, very deeply, and more so as each year passes.

(3) Kids are AWESOME.  Your children will generate a white-hot Love in your Soul that nothing else can do.  It's true, they make their Mom and Dad want to scream sometimes (and they will know that feeling, too, someday!), but Parenting, like Marriage, is a wonderful and growth-bearing experience.  And growth is always GOOD.

I love my daughter, Sarah, and my son, Sam, very deeply, and more so as each year passes.

(4) I enjoy the indulgences of a premium cigar and a quality beer, very much.  I enjoy these simple pleasures  mostly because they bring a certain Peace and a gentle Quietness to my Mind and Soul...

(5) Hockey is Life:  The struggle.  The pain.  The team-based structure.  The skill and grace.  The speed and passion.  And the reality that Life is mostly about the hard work of doing the right things, often the "small" things, over and over and over, all to get to that one comparatively short moment where you pick up the puck in the neutral zone, speed into the O-zone all alone, deke right, come back to your forehand left, and top-shelf it (for the Cup-winner, of course!)...  Life is mostly work.  Sometimes it's fun.

(6) If Hockey is Life, JAZZ is what it sounds like.  To those who understand, no explanation is necessary; to those who do not understand, no explanation is possible.

(7)  Some people understand Reason, other people only understand the Stick.  I try to be the first kind.

I wonder what the NEXT 50 years will be like...