Well, I thought the day would never come.  Today, I turn 44.  Some of my friends, the meaner ones I might mention, have explained to me that I am a lot closer to 50 now than I am 30…so that basically means that I’m 50.  First off, no it doesn’t.  Secondly, okay you got me.  50 isn’t that far away, much like Sarah Palin and Russia, I can see it from my house.  It really is hard to believe that I’ve been on this planet for 44 years!  At this point, you think I might buy a Shelby Mustang, get a gold chain, go to the doc for some peck implants and get a spray tan.  Since none of that, save the Shelby Mustang, is really me I guess I’ll have to opt out.

Honestly, I’ve seen quite a few people freak out at this point and go through their “mid life crisis” and I really hope I never go through that.  Instead of feeling desperate to make my life count for something, at 44 I guess all that I feel is…grateful.  Grateful that God has seen fit to give me two wonderful kids, a beautiful and kind wife and a job that I love to go to every morning with people that I love to be with.  Grateful for amazing friends and extended family that cares so much of us and the feeling is definitely mutual.  Instead of feeling desperate to make an impact, I feel a responsibility to keep going and make the next 44 count in a really big way!  I feel like I owe that to God for His uncommon grace that He has shown to someone who really doesn’t deserve it.

My prayer for the next 44 is that I could embody grace and truth to the people that surround me.  That God would continue to use my talents as a ministry to others, as odd as my talents may be.  Have you ever stopped to take stock in the talents God has given you?  I’ll list a few of mine in no particular order.  I love to make people laugh, to comfort others in pain, to teach the Bible in living english and I can do a pretty mean Sean Connery impression.  The crazy thing is, God has used all of my talents over the years to minister to others in one way or another.  Maybe all except the Sean Connery thing, the jury is still out on that one.

Let me encourage you to think about the talents and gifts that God has given you.  List them out.  Thank Him for what He has given you, no matter how weird or few those gifts may be.  Then ask Him to give you the strength to use those gifts to bring attention to Him so that others might be blessed through you.  When that happens, then maybe your next 44 will be the best of your life.  Take care.

“But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.” 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

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