After spending some time this morning with my daughter and her children, I thought about where I was when my own were little. That led me to think about the decades of my life - how you really never know where or what you'll be ten years from now.
When I was ten I was a 5th grade student at Clyde A. Erwin Elementary School in Jacksonville, NC. Baseball was my first love. It was while I was ten that my dad left us for thirteen months, going to a violent place in Southeast Asia. I rode a bike and got the newest fad of transportation that year...a skateboard. Mom and dad owned a modest little home in a rural development called Half Moon Heights.
I turned twenty while serving an internship in Ft. Myers, FL. A few weeks later I started my junior year of college in Lynchburg, VA. After 3 years of not playing baseball I tried a comeback, but in just three years the skills had become too rusty. Huge disappointment. But in a couple months I would meet a girl while working for J. C. Penney who would partner with me for life. today. Huge break! My ride was a '65 VW bug that was a piece of junk. Still lived with the folks.
At 30 I was serving in my third church, a youth and music pastor, since graduating college eight years earlier. My seminary degree's ink was still wet, and our family now included a four year old son and a seven month old daughter. We rented a house in the same neighborhood where my wife grew up. The next five years would prove to be the hardest of my life.
By age 40 I had been pastor of Nags Head Baptist Church for four years. Our family now included a teenager and two young daughters. I was coaching baseball and softball with my kids and totally engrossed in my job. Three days after turning 40 I got my first pair of bifocals. We were driving our first brand new car, a mini-van that would last us for the next eleven years. The church provided us with a comfortable home in Kitty Hawk, a home we would later purchase.
At the half-century mark we enjoyed the stability of being in the same position and even living in the same home for 15 years. Life is good! Our kids are finding their own ways in life. Our son is happily married. I've had some health concerns, but have fortunately resolved them with diet. Gail's dad passed away a few years ago and her mom and my parents are dealing with the issues that come with aging. The next years would bring the joys of weddings, grandchildren and the greatest trials of our faith.
Now I'm past the midway mark of my 6th decade. The seasons have flown by! I'm watching my children go through the same stages of life through which I've been. Hopefully the faith and values they've learned through life will carry them through their decades to come.
Looking back I can see how God works all things together for good to those who love Him. Solomon wrote that, "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven", and went through those times and seasons of life. Most important is that we discover that purpose and see our lives as being given to us to glorify our Creator in every season.