Sunday, November 3, 2013

Five - O!!

As a child, 50 years seemed like an eternity. It was the definition of the phrase “a long time” and the very embodiment of the word “old”! What would one possibly be able to do once the Big Five-O barrier was reached? Well, years have passed since I viewed 50 as the “beginning of the end” – exactly 50 years! Having finally reached that quintessential milestone of maturity, I am delighted to report that I do not feel washed up, burned out or “through” in even the slightest degree. While it has not escaped my notice that I have achieved an accumulation of years that has given me experience, perspective and seasoning, my years have also given me context to understand that I still have much to learn and that I remain young enough to have the energy to eagerly engage new discoveries. I am fortunate enough to understand how to achieve results in an “old school” way, while at the same time being deeply appreciative and fully embracing of the new school of possibilities and realities that on-going progress afford – Yes, I am fortunate and appreciative! I am fortunate that I was blessed with caring and loving parents who guided me, protected me and prepared me for a world filled with possibilities, challenges and mystery. I am fortunate that they did not shelter me from reality in their parental work nor did they quench my ability to dream and to hope for a better future. I am fortunate that their steadfast work prepared my heart to embrace my own familial responsibilities. I am fortunate that as I enter my fifth decade of life I am blessed with parental responsibilities that include encouraging my two grown children who are charting amazing courses of life with families of their own, walking alongside a college-aged child as she traverses her own path of self-discovery and embracing the world of wonder that everyday uncovers for our youngest 9 year-old girl. I am also appreciative of the countless blessings the Lord has extended to me in my half-century of life. I am appreciative of many precious friendships defined by exceptional people who have stood by me like family and who embraced this only child like a brother through trials, tribulations and difficulties while assuring me that whatever challenges I might face, I would never face then alone. I am appreciative of the best friend and most loyal companion anyone could ever ask for, my wife Luz. I am appreciative that Luz has encouraged me at my lowest, supported me at my worst and confidently walked beside me at my most insecure moments. I am most appreciative that the Lord has so richly blessed me, in spite of my not deserving such benefits, and that He has touched my life deeply with rich mercy and amazing grace. As I face the 50 + future, I wish to directly express my thanks to you, my friends who have accompanied me along my journey. None of us can be absolutely sure of what tomorrow holds, but I do wish to make a few important commitments as the “third period” begins. I commit to walk in truth – to seek the truth, to teach the truth and to defend the truth in my daily dealings. I commit to walk in love – to love others in spite of how they feel about me, to promote love and understanding among everyone that I meet and to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. I finally commit not to give up on life until the Lord takes me Home. I have experienced just enough loss to know that there are heartbreaks that are so deep and so painful that escape and surrender seem to offer the only solace in times of unbearable angst. I commit to keep trying. Though pain and suffering may await me, I will do my best to give my best for as long as the Lord allows me to live and to help all those I can to do the same. Thank you my friends – my family – for making my 50 years thus far more wonderful than anyone could desire. I eagerly and hopefully look forward to the wave of opportunities that the future will bring, facing all sorts of triumphs, challenges and opportunities. May God grant me the ability to run the remainder of the race and face the unknown future with dignity, skill and honor! May the Lord bless you all! Your Brother and fellow sojourner, Sam

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