Friday, September 28, 2018

Reflections Upon my Sixty-second Birthday

         In June of this year I turned sixty-two years of age. My father retired from his career with a railroad at age sixty-two. My wife retired over four years ago. A couple of weeks ago my wife and I were in the car and I said, “Okay, baby, here’s the deal. I just turned sixty-two, but I have absolutely no interest in retirement. I aim to go as hard and as fast as I can until seventy, then we can think about it. I have way too much juice, lots of vision, and plenty yet to accomplish.” She has no complaints as she certainly doesn’t want me hanging around the house being hyper with nothing to do. If I retired, I would just volunteer doing the same things I do now.
          Below are some simple reflections on how things look at sixty-two.

Earlier this year I went with my father to Washington DC on a Veterans Honor Flight. Dad is a Korean War veteran and the whole day, 4:00 am to 9:30 pm, was tremendous. Both my parents have had knee replacements, but still live in the home they have owned for over sixty years. My son and daughter-in-law are wonderful, loving, and wise parents.
Our granddaughters are lovely girls, seven years of age and four. Both are involved in dance, the younger one with a much more competitive mindset. One is very compliantly natured, the other quite strong willed.

Forty-three years of marriage

My wife, Sharon, and I are more committed to each other than ever. That’s surely how we have made it this far. I am a much better husband than I was twenty years ago. I am more understanding and accommodating. We have a better handle on our finances than ever. We now contribute more to various ministries and charities than we ever could have imagined.

Physical changes

It’s harder to sleep soundly in recent years. I have more joint pain than ten years ago. I can still play racquetball competitively. I carry some pounds that I would like to lose, but am not really obsessed with my waistline. 

When I shave, I see my maternal grandfather looking back at me in the mirror.

Church and volunteerism –

No Greater Love Ministries and the NGL Network continue to be an important part of my life as a man, a leader, and as a life-long learner.
My involvement is now mostly through facilitation of the Camp Leaders during the Mardi Gras outreach and in as many NGL board meetings as fit with my busy schedule.
The longer I serve Christ Jesus in sporting culture, the harder it is to fit in with church culture.

Global travel –
I have now traveled to or through twenty-nine nations in the last eighteen years. In the years that remain, I intend to be available to serve anyone, anywhere I am called that fits my life's purposes, as the Lord reveals them.

Ministry in sport –

This facet of my life is constantly changing. I still lead FCA Camps, but in a less direct manner than ten years ago.
I find great joy and fulfillment in serving in sports chaplaincy, locally, nationally, and globally. I serve, lead, write, and network in these initiatives.
I lead ministry with coaches in professional, college, high school, junior high, and club sport, in a variety of sports. Some of this is done by direct relational contact, others are via conference calls, still others via text messages, many more by writing books, and still others by visiting annual coaching conventions.

Summary –
Life at sixty-two is rich, fulfilling, and joyous. I love my family, my friends, my colleagues, and those I am privileged to serve. Let’s crack on for a few more decades.

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