This year will mark a milestone birthday for me… and most people in the graduating class of 1973. I know that age is merely a number and shouldn’t be the defining aspect of our lives, but it does give me pause to reflect on the events of my life. What have I done with these past 60 years? Were they worthwhile or do I need to reroute the path I’m on? What does the next day hold for me… or for the ones I love?
Once, I was shown my age by a tape measure. It was stretched out before me to demonstrate life. I looked closely at 60 inches, which by the way, is also my height. Looking at the numbers in front of me, it was clear it was longer at the start than the length remaining to reach 100 inches. I realized the numbers prior to 59 could not be changed, but the numbers in front are uncertain – with no guarantee of making it to 100.
Recently, Diana, a very dear friend and classmate, spent her 60th birthday in the hospital. Diane’s situation was sudden and unexpected. Even as I write these words, she remains there, teetering on the edge of what might happen next. Despite the situation, she is striving to communicate with her children and express her love for them. Her inner strength stands as an example for all of us when confronted with dire circumstances.
Our high school class has rallied around her with prayers and encouraging words. She remains in critical condition miles away from most of us. The class of ’73 continues to send love, prayers and hope that the situation at hand will improve. We are not promised anything in life. The twists and turns along the way have not all been paved. Some of the roads are more than rocky but with the help of the Lord, family and good friends, the passage is a lot less bumpy.
I once read a birthday card that left me a powerful message. It read, “As you grow up, make sure you have…more dreams than memories, more opportunities than chances, more hard work than luck and more friends than acquaintances. May you have the very best in life.” As you look at your tape measure, may you find the length stretched out before you reaching ahead for that bright light at the end of our years.