Wednesday, October 21, 2009

OMGosh I'm 40

Just yesterday I was looking up the hill.

Today I proudly stand on top.

Problem is tomorrow I start going down.

I’m 40.

Seriously! How in the world can I be 40 years old? This just isn’t possible! Whose fault is this anyway?

Just yesterday my wife and I were in talks about adopting a child. That was already 2 years ago.

Just yesterday our twin girls were born at Arlington Memorial. That was 4 years ago.

Just yesterday I remember standing in front of a TV watching the Twin Towers in NYC collapse on 9/11. That was 8 years ago!

Just yesterday I met my wife for the first time in a singles class at church. That was 10 years ago.

Just yesterday I met my business partner Chris Novinger at the Parks Mall. That was 13 years ago.

Just yesterday I was getting my Master’s at Baylor and hanging out with friends in Fort Worth on the weekends. That was 15 years ago.

Just yesterday I was at Howard Payne being a “fella”, getting a degree and starting Club J Ministries. That was 18 years ago.

Just yesterday I was tromping around Houston, cheering on the Astros with dad, enjoying my “first love” and being a beach bum with mom and my sister. That was 24 years ago.

Just yesterday…

It’s weird how turning 40 is such a hallmark in life. Some freak out. Some do nothing and others kind of do both. For me, well, I don’t really plan to freak out, but I have spent a lot of time over the last few months thinking about my life up to now and searching for how it should be the same, better or different in my “second half”.

God always has His ways. About 6 months ago on a plane I sat next to a former pastor who nearly made me swear when I got home I would read a book called “Halftime” by Bob Buford. He said it changed his life and would change mine. Finally, a month or two later I remembered the incident and got my copy. Little did I know how it would challenge me to the core. If only I could have read this book 10 years ago…

Buford contends that we are given a “box” in life and only one thing can be in it. Whatever is in it is what our lives are truly centered on. And if only one thing could be in my “box” and I had to answer the obvious question – what is in it? In reality most of us have to admit we are the ones in the center of our own boxes. Even as Christians, many times simple things we claim are "for God", like attending church regularly, are in reality done for our own rewards. We are selfish creatures.

In short, the book challenged me to move my focus from being about me and being “successful” to becoming “significant” by truly making Christ and His work the center of my life. Everything should surround the purpose of leaving a legacy of building His kingdom – work, family, goals, church, money, etc. Only after we do, will we truly become fulfilled, happy, and know life at its fullest.

Halftime is about learning this reality and setting a new game plan for the second half of life. God has called each of us believers to more than the routine of work, kids, school, and church. We have to get beyond our own worlds and do more and as a family if possible.

Julie and I have talked for hours about what we can do in the second half. We are bored with the mindless routine of school and work during the week, church on the weekend and a date night here and there. We know He has called us to more than this American standard most Christians accept. We believe God has called our family to some specific actions that will challenge us in ways I am sure we don't even see yet.

Personally, I think I am about ready to start the game of life once again. God has things for me He wants to change - habits, sins, attitudes, and the like. And yet He is gracious enough to still use me in the process. I am eager to make the 2nd half count.

Yea, it is hard to believe driving at 16 was 24 years ago and it’s just as hard to believe it was 14 years ago the Cowboys last won a Superbowl!

It does seem the hour glass of life gets quicker as the grains pass through from one side to the other. But I think I have an idea of what kind of second half God wants from me – some plays that worked in the first half for sure, but many more new ones designed for when it’s all on the line!

Yep, I’m 40. Big deal. I’ll still be fun, loving and cute (by someone’s standards!) But truth be told it won't be long until I will be sitting here barely able to read or write trying to pen the words "just yesterday" again.

I just hope my second half is as much fun as the first and slows down just a little.

After all, there isn't another game on the schedule.

"The glory of young men is their strength, And the honor of old men is their gray hair." Proverbs 20:29

© 2009, J. Brady

”I say it how I see it and I make no bones about it."

1 comment:

Claire said...

Congrats on 40!