As October gives way to November this year, my life’s odometer flips another month.
My birthday is in June, so it’s not that. My odometer turns because both of my sons, Nathan (Oct 25) and Adam (Nov.6) have birthdays in the coming weeks.
For me, the milestones of life have never really felt important. I only “feel” older when I recognize that my boys are going to be 32 and 28 respectively.
The odometer flips for me because how is it possible to have children that old?
Because of this… I find myself especially pensive about some things. I am thinking about the fact that I am on the backside of life. I am just a few years away from retirement and I wonder if all of the effort at my place of employment was worth it. What did I miss in life because of being too commited to my job?
I also look back with thoughts of how often have I failed to live up to my faith. Have I walked a path that brought honor to Jesus Christ? Thoughts of failure and the times I walked far short of God’s plan for my life clearly overwhelm any memories of when I was doing what was right.
It’s more of a feeling in my soul than a sequence of clear, discrete thoughts.
I find myself more and more overcome with thoughts of “home.” Not so much about being home but rather my thoughts are more about the journey to get home. Like after a long vacation and you start to head home. For me, there has always been the relief of getting home after those long trips. The same enthusiasm that I had on the day we pulled out of the driveway to get “there, I often feel that same enthusiasm to get home when it was time.
Life is about returning.
I think that was one of the main reason I wrote my book, “Footprints in a Small Town.” I was on the journey to reconnect to my childhood home and hometown.
Now I find myself on a journey to find my way to another aspect of “home” and looking to find closure on other aspects of life.
In other words, trying to find another place that represents home. I am not talking about heaven. Heaven is the final destination. I am not ready for that. I have more things I want to accomplish before I find my way to that home.
At this point in my life, I believe that God is asking me how I am going to live my remaining days. It is clear to me that my success is not found in my paycheck, nor is it found in a title I have at work.
My success is now more or less found in being a good man. A good husband. A good father. A good grandfather and a good servant of God.
This is where home is for me now.
How different this is from the drive to achieve that defined so much of my life as a younger man. I knew where I wanted to go and believed that I could get there only through toil and competition. Without effort and without impressive results, I would go nowhere.
Other people would be more or less, higher or lower than me. I would look up in envy or down in condescension. And I could not rest until I had arrived. It was all on me.
The drive to be successful.
The older I get I realize that none of these things that I have accomplished are real evidence that I did it on my own.
As I reflect I see the evidence of God doing the heavy lifting. He was there preparing a way and giving me the opportunity.
God brought me here. Right where I am today.
I have no idea where life is going to lead me in the coming years. Things are changing and I need to continue to trust that God will lead me to where I need to go.
And I will only arrive there by admitting that I cannot get there on my own.
Together, we walk and, at times, stumble together back to the home we yearn for.
We are all returning to where home is.
We’re all just walking each other there.
Our path homeward is long and uneven.
We will endure detours and setbacks.
But the One who brought us here will lead us.