Monday, February 23, 2015


Anniversaries of special events usually come and go for me without much of my day changing.  Tears may be shed.  Cake may be eaten.  But the actual date of an event is not usually what triggers an emotional response for me.  A song, a scent, or a phone call are much more likely to remind me of the magnitude of a past event.  Yet as I have anticipated being forty years old I have been thinking a lot about the turns, twists, mountains, and valleys that have been my life.

I understand that turning forty is not something a lot of people choose to acknowledge or announce.  When we were kids and then pre-teens waiting for the years to go by so we could get our learner's permit - those were the days of celebrating the years flying by.  And I'm by no means immune to the feelings of worry and dread as I witness changes as the years go on.  Pounds don't come off as quickly as they used to.  I have to wear reading glasses to type this.  Lines and wrinkles on my face and hands make it harder to hide my years.

Then why don't I feel like hiding?

I think it's the joy of knowing that my soul is what will last eternally and I am just practicing here the purpose God has already planned for me in Heaven.  

Are you hanging on to your Sunday-school view of Heaven you had as a child?  The one where you were sitting on a cloud.  Or maybe you were hanging out in your house made of glass enjoying your 360 views of the streets of gold.  Confession: It took me until just a few years ago (and you know how old I am) to begin forcing my mind to view eternal life for what it really is.  A life of purpose.  So many things take on a different meaning and have a new context when viewed in the light of a realistic Heaven.

In The Purpose-Driven Life Rick Warren says that any other way of living is just existing.  Before we had Glory I was just existing.  I wasn't happy or sad but I knew I was missing out on something.  I didn't know what it was then.  I hadn't experienced true joy because I had kept my ideas of eternal life inside a very small box in my head.  I was an adult with a very childish view of the Bible's message.  Not until I realized that my life here was a practice run for the real thing did I experience the joy of purpose.  So as I celebrate being forty years old today I am overjoyed to be living with purpose.

One of my favorite moments during this last year in Malibu:)
As long as we are able to see our wrinkles for what they really are - evidence of laughter.  As long as we see our physical ailments in a true light - scars from living a life of purpose.  As long as we acknowledge we were created "for such a time as this" (Esther 4:14)...

Forty is my beginning...

But the plans of The Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Psalm 33:11