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This is almost incomprehensible. I actually am living and I am 65 years old. For many years I will openly admit that I thought that this was not just a number, this was a symbol for OLD.
There was plenty of warning for this landmark in life. The US mail service started it. In each of my daily deliveries there were invitations to join old people’s groups. Retirement plans, parties, investments and “special” products took up most of my mailbox space.
Maybe being frugal was finally an asset. Discounts were mixed into this onslaught of advertisements. Businesses wanted to attract loyalty to the almighty discount for Seniors.
The Feds were in on this too. They kept sending reminders of Social Security. The not so subtle message was work longer before drawing on your retirement funds.
Clearly they were running out of money and wanted to kick the old people can down the road before paying up. OK. I’ll work a few more years longer.
Uncle Sam doesn’t know it but I love doing my job. Every day it is not about how to survive on a fixed income but on how I can make a difference in the lives of other people. In fact I am privileged to make an eternal difference in the lives of other people.
I get to expand the everlasting news in the lives of people with the hours that I put into my daily job. Calling it a “job” is a misnomer. It is a ministry where I have the joy of teaching truth and loving well.
That’s the motto of my occupation. I teach the Bible. No it’s not old worn out religion. It is lively and delightful joy.
Jesus Christ is at the center of all that I do. He is not fiction or imaginative “good luck”. Instead, He is the real deal. Jesus brings love and forgiveness into the lives of people.
My “job” is to pass that good news on to as many people as possible. Retirement is not in the picture. As long as God gives good health, I will keep on doing this “work”.
Maybe it’s this life that keeps me feeling young and going strong. Even at 65 I have my eyes set on making the next 5 years the best years of my life. Want to join me?
The drive from the South area of Bangkok to the North area where our hotel is situated is a long drive. That lengthy commute is extended when it is rush hour traffic. But, the views are sensational and leave an indelible impression on my soul.
Mid-rise dwellings abound in Bangkok. These small uniform apartments collect human beings in family units throughout the landscape of this beautiful country. I will meet very few of these people face to face.
When our commute took us off of the tollways system and plunged us into the streets of the city, faces attached themselves to the masses of this countries millions. The Thai people are famous world-wide for their cheerful smiles and clasped hands and bowed head. There were countless people sharing that interchange along our route.
Yet, I would know very few of their names. I would know less about their lives. Even less would ever cross my path as a friend.
Millions of people scurried about, shopping, eating, commuting, conversing and laughing. Some were making a living selling, cooking, driving, delivering, guarding, guiding and an endless list of other activities of a city. How many human brains would it take to know each one and follow each of their lives?
Yes, that’s definitely an impossible human task. Yet, it gave me a chance to realize how BIG God is. He knows all of their names.
Not only does God know each of their names, He knows each of their lives. There are no overlooked issues. Even the smallest of details of all of our lives are known by God.
He doesn’t stress over an overload of information. He is never threatened by a limit of His knowledge. Nor does He become so busy that He doesn’t have time for us.
The God of the Bible is the God who is not just attentive to our needs, He is fully engaged in inviting us to be in His family. He makes that possible through His Son’s sacrifice on the cross. Jesus died for everyone without exception.
Do you feel left out? Are you overwhelmed with matters of life? Has life become so troubled that you feel forgotten and ready to give up?
God loves you. He knows every detail about your life and circumstances. Not only is He aware of your situation, He controls all of them as well. Turn to Him in faith; it will be the best decision you have ever made.
This was going to be a particularly difficult day. Pressures at work, a long line of demands had been queuing up for months, responsibilities were pushing the limits of our sanity. My bride and I were comparing notes and it was going to be a tough day to start the work week.
On top of our regular routine we have a major trip coming up in a matter of weeks. Details of overseas travel are horrendous! We had to find time to invest in that preparation.
Departure times and dates are already getting tangled in our scheduling. Today we would have to make sure we made those adjustments. Double booking ourselves is an inconvenience for everyone and could easily undermine our efforts to be effective at all of our responsibilities.
We both heaved a deep sigh of dismay, loaded up our car with our bags for our day and drove off into the dark morning for our long commute. My thoughts were lost in our need to get over the financial hump of needed changes, travel expenses and time investments. If I could I needed to think about relieving my bride of the pressure she was feeling.
Now, we discussed possible drastic changes in our circumstances. What dramatic changes could we live with if that meant the relief of life pressures? There were no easy answers.
Then, we rounded the arching on ramp to the Interstate freeway. The Houston eastern skies were waiting to cut short the threatening discouragement. In front of us the Creator was putting on a show.
Clouds burst out of the east, pointing to the west. Behind those finger shaped clouds were the indescribable colors of the divine palate, splashing reds, oranges and yellows in balanced effect. Blue skies in the background were pushing the loud colors , pressing the daylight splendor.
We both smiled at the interruption to our concerns. The God of all gods was breaking into our worrisome souls. It was sensational sunrise.
He was starting the day off with a splendid artistic masterpiece. In massive swathes of colorful strokes that were changing by the minute, we could only watch as He finished up the waking of a new day. No words but just splendor.
We got the message. What did we really have to worry about if He was in charge? Now, we had a day to look forward to instead of dreading.
photo credit: yvonne fong photography
That’s why it’s a beast. Slowly, incrementally this small influence grows into a controlling behemoth. The rheostat keeps turning up the heat and before you know it we have been overwhelmed.
Busy people snap. We fold under the constant pressure. Our health is compromised and our well-being slides into the realms of darkness.
Wise living means that we manage our stress. We can never get rid of it. It is a part of living to those who live to make a difference.
Fishing helps me cope. There are very few activities that I totally rest my mind from the heavy responsibilities on my daily plate. Some how this activity takes my soul to another place where I can recuperate, rejuvenate and restore.
Karl invited me to enjoy his ranch. I planned it into my schedule with delight. That kindness was one that I gladly welcomed.
This visitation was marked on my calendar and I protected it with administrative dexterity. Deftly I redirected other appointments and demanding issues around those dates. My smile grew wider as those days drew closer.
Finally, with my duties complete I drove West. My gear was neatly stowed in my pickup truck bed. The scenery of the civilization melted behind me. Now, the country engulfed me.
The next morning Gary and Klark picked me up in an ATV. We talked fishing all the way down to the lake. Strategy, tackle, technique and ideas flourished. The only noticeable thing missing were any promises. There is a reason why this activity is called “fishing” and NOT “catching”.
When we stopped on the shore, it was involuntary to pause. The view was captivating. Mirrored on the stone stilled lake water was the skyline of jade green trees, sparkling blue sky and lazy puffy cumulus clouds.
Stress-slaying relaxation was taking over. The kind of smile that emerges at such a moment is soulish. Deep within a revived spirit sings.
My tackle box offered many options. Scanning with experienced eyes I remembered that my quarry from a distant state had found a black and white rattletrap tantalizingly appetizing. Trying to read the waters I chose to retrieve my offering along a submerged tree.
The pull and tussle were familiar. An arching throbbing fishing rod tip was electrifying. Finally, after the catch the release showed domination and gratitude. Ah, so relaxing.
photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography