I’m 50: And No Longer Untested

50. Two score and 10. Half a century. L.

However you phrase it, I become all those things today, and it’s nice to have this one day, when you stand ON TOP of the hill and look out all around to the landscape long passed, and capture a hopeful glimpse of that which is yet to come.

No, I can’t believe it. No, I don’t really comprehend it.

Yes, it blows me away. And yes, I’m completely okay with it.

In fact, despite the milestone reminder that time is moving ever so quickly, I’ve never been more in the zone, never more sure of my purpose, and never so completely at peace.

I’m battle tested through the teens, 20s, 30s and 40s, and there were bloody wounds, now nothing more than reminiscent scars – wisdom even. There were mistakes. Regrets. Lessons. And a few victories along the way.  I am no longer untested, yet the test goes on.

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I’ve been tested enough to know WHAT I’VE LEARNED. I’VE LEARNED:

  • You can’t unscramble an egg.
  • How to talk less, listen more, and most importantly at times shut up and walk away.
  • Things are rarely what they seem.
  • Looking at yourself in the mirror, being comfortable in your own skin – whatever metaphor you wish to use about this, you’ll never be truly happy and at peace until you can do these things.
  • It’s never a good idea to buy a mattress (where you spend 1/3 of your life) from a store called Sleep Cheap.

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I’ve been tested enough to know WHAT I REGRET. I REGRET:

  • Hurt that I’ve caused to family and friends because of my own selfishness.
  • So much of the feeling that I have worked hard for, and deserve, what I have, when in actuality, none of it belongs to me. Not one thing.
  • That in so many of the most special moments, I didn’t stop, and breath and take a better picture in my mind. I’m more intentional about that now.
  • Pride.
  • That it took so long to learn how to make big decisions, balancing them with gut feelings, and the wisdom of experience. It’s just that wisdom takes time, and there’s no way around it.

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I’ve been tested enough to know WHAT I BELIEVE. I BELIEVE:

  • I have studied the sciences, read the scholars, and traveled the world. At the end of it all, I believe in God the Father. God the Son. And God the Holy Spirit. And despite my flaws and failures, I believe there is no higher aspiration than bringing glory to Jesus’ name.
  • In the pursuit of Truth. I believe relevant truth is a contradictory term. I have a go-to source for Truth. It’s called the Bible. If not to Him, “to whom shall we go?”
  • There is future day of judgment. And my greatest concern about that judgment today is not my eternal destiny, but how I use the gifts God has given me for the greater good.
  • The greatest things in the world result from a step of faith.
  • Everyone, everyone, everyone, needs a cheerleader.
  • We’re all at our very best when we’re cheering for others.
  • Finally, I believe that everything I just wrote in this section will turn a lot of people off, assure them of my narrow mindedness, and cause them to stop reading right here. And I’ve mostly had to stop caring about that. Let it rain.

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I’ve been tested enough to know WHAT I ONCE BELIEVED, BUT NO LONGER BELIEVE. I NO LONGER BELIEVE:

  • That our resumé is the measure of who we are.
  • Organized religion/church is at fault for anything. Yes, I once believed that, but no longer believe it. The Church has zero obligation or responsibility to us. We have a responsibility to ourselves. And the church is one (only one) tool through which we grow, and serve. I no longer believe I can blame the church for anything. If something about the church has hurt you, it wasn’t truly of the church.
  • That my convictions count for anything.
  • There’s plenty of time…

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I’ve been tested enough to know THAT TO WHICH I ASPIRE. I ASPIRE TO:

  • Let the people I love know how much I love them.
  • Have greater compassion, more understanding and create fewer obstacles for myself. I aspire to quit playing God, and get out of my own way.
  • Leave a few good stories behind that my family can share and be proud about.
  • Be less concerned about expressing my convictions, and more concerned about actually making a difference.
  • Be a conduit for conveying how much good there is out there in the world.
  • More humility. Less pride.
  • Go on at least one more great adventure. I have a grandaddy of one in mind. Lord, help me.

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I’ve been tested enough to know THAT FOR WHICH I HOPE. I HOPE:

  • I can fully understand absolute surrender to Christ.
  • I can write a few things that somehow contribute to the greater good, and help someone.
  • We’ll all wake up to realize how we’re being led to conflict and other things that don’t matter in the name of equality, freedom of expression, and a free press.
  • That you can feel the peace I’ve come to feel over the last year.

Yes. I’m 50 now.

And I’m no longer untested. Let it rain.

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10 thoughts on “I’m 50: And No Longer Untested

  1. Bravo! You share the birthday with one of my dearest friends (but she turns 49 today).

    As one who reached this milestone just 5 months ahead of you, I can say with you that I solidly know “who I am and Whose I am,” that I’ve learned a lot, but still have a lot to learn and that all that I have and all that I am is “from Him and unto Him.” (I read the book “Driven By Eternity” by John Bevere back in 2007 and it was a total game changer for me.)

    Feliz cincuenta cumpleaños mi amigo y buen camino!

  2. Happy Birthday! Thank you for sharing your faith. There is nothing more beautiful than the truth of Jesus Christ. Rejoice knowing that your steps (and Dana’s) are guided by the Lord! Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He hath made every thing beautiful in his time…” Peace, love and happiness to you and Dana always.

  3. Loved reading these thoughts and was able to see where I can use a tune up in my own life. Thanks so much for sharing your faith with us! God bless!

  4. Enjoyed your words!! Agree with so many of them…. Happy 50th Birthday Steve! Come up this summer for a Buffalo River Adventure…….😊

  5. getting older definitely has its rewards, and being more patient and wiser is a great bonus. we realize that it’s not about us, but about helping our fellow man, about having compassion for others and leaving the ego tucked in its place… sounds as if you’ve learned all those lessons and can now waltz through life as you sprinkle happiness on those around you. may you have many more grand celebrations of life! z

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