“Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.”” (John 21:18–19 ESV)
I turned 64 today and had planned on writing a little homily on what I’ve learned over these years.
I was thinking it would be full of homespun wisdom and gentle humor as befits a man my age.
Unfortunately, that sort of writing lends itself to better scribes than myself and I’m not feeling either wise or humorous this morning.
In truth , I’ve really only learned a few things for sure.
The first thing I’ve learned is how much more there is to learn, or less politely, how much I don’t know.
This should produce more humility in me than it does, but I’m not dead yet.
I’d update you on my progress toward greater humility, but that would prove I hadn’t made any…
The second thing I’ve learned is that life rarely turns out as you expected or hoped.
Jesus warned Peter about this, but I somehow thought it was just between the two of them.
At this late date in life I’ve been given more responsibilities for others than I can handle, with fewer resources than ever.
Instead of finishing up my bucket list, I’m a caregiver with a very small world.
I’ve emptied the bucket to carry more precious things than it previously contained…but not without a measure of grief.
The third thing I’ve learned is not to compare the life you’ve been given with what someone else has been given.
I’m not sure whether Peter wanted the life he thought John would have, or if he wanted to make sure that John suffered as much as he did.
I swing between those poles at times myself and it only depreciates what my own calling is.
The fourth thing I’ve learned is that I am where I am because I followed Jesus here.
My situation is not an accident of circumstances…it is a point in the path where He’s led me.
I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, doing exactly what I’m supposed to do.
If I were anywhere else, it would be without Him.
That would give me a full bucket, but an empty life.
My own hopes and dreams have gone unfulfilled, but God’s purpose for me is right on track.
I’m working on being happy about that…
The last thing I’ve learned is…He is good…even when the bucket is empty…
He fills your soul instead.
Make your own application…