On Easter Sunday, I turned 65 years old, which was actually a fun trip. People were basically nice, and I partied all week. The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma staff and my family gave me parties, and Kingfisher, First, where I preached on Easter, provided a birthday cake for me.
I was reminded of my age in unique ways. My niece and nephew were so kind to place 65 plastic Easter eggs in my yard. They also wrote on my driveway that I now had only 35 more years to 100!
The most indignant thing that happened was receiving a Medicare card! Can you believe it? I called (and this is not a preacher story) the Medicare national phone line to tell them I didn’t want a Medicare card. The lady kept telling me it was free and would be of benefit if I had to go to the hospital. I protested that I still didn’t want the card. After 10 minutes, I surrendered my dignity and pride and told her thanks for the free gift. OK, you and I know nothing is free from the government!
Achieving this milestone does cause one to contemplate the future. It is true that more of your work life is behind you. Indeed, if one lives a normal life span, more of your life lies behind. But I have to say God has been very good to me and my life has been so rich and full.
I am convinced that the key ingredient in life is not money, cars, houses, or material things. The key component in life is relationships—a wife with whom I have spent the majority of my years walking beside; children who fill my life with joy; colleagues who are creative and gifted, and make ministry worthwhile; and friendships that enrich my years.
No relationship is greater than my relationship with my God. Because of Him, my years have been filled with life, not just my life filled with years. He is my light, life, and salvation. I have come to know Him as Father, Friend, Savior, Lord, Shepherd, Provider, and so much more. Yes, I am rich!
What about the future? I could sum up the future in the same way I have discussed the past and present. I want my life to be filled with expanded relationships with those I love most and with people I have yet to meet. As long as I have breath, I want my relationship with God to continue to grow.
God is not through with me yet. I have fire in my bones, and I want to declare the unsearchable riches of the Gospel with more fervency than ever. I want to pray with more passion and brokenness than at any time in my life. I want to stay alert to the leadings of the Savior, be sensitive to people around me, offer words of encouragement and love, and always be ready to share the Good News.
Think about it. If I have 35 years until my 100th birthday, I have a lot of years left! The first 65 years of my life have been great, but it is just going to get gooder!! Amen and Amen!