Yesterday was a banner birthday. I made it to the age of 57. I also got a gaggle of friends to buy $900 worth of cooking oil for some clients in need at our emergency food pantry (See http://hnkconnect.com/). And wrote a new post for my blog – the first in a while. “A Duck’s Charm” – You can read it at http://hnkconnect.blogspot.com/2012/04/ducks-charm.html.
My wife blessed me by making homemade tapioca pudding, laboring over the pot for an hour. This coming weekend, with all my four turning-adult kids home, we’ll go to a favorite Vietnamese restaurant for a bowl of noodles, comfort food that reminds us of our years in China. And we’ll eat frog legs (a joke about cake and ice cream from when our kids were small fry.) Such is the fun of a birthday around our home.
A friend, on hearing my age, proceeded to share how her mother had died at 57. And then went on to relate all the people she knew dying of cancer. Bless her heart, she’s beaten those odds and then some, a generation older than me and still in great health.
You never know about life. This past year, I’ve weathered my first hospital stay since I was born, a check up on the old ticker that proved merely a temporary scare. One son did the same trick and the other son made it through a year in Afghanistan unscathed. It’s been a year of financial ups and downs, more the latter. Vegetables were grown, holidays were celebrated, a daughter graduated from high school, and people were served.
Yesterday I took time to reflect on where life is headed. I noted that it never fails to delight – or disappoint. I reminded myself that the good life is not about one giant step or some magnificent achievement, but a thousand, zillion tiny, almost imperceptible decisions to do right. Life is less about where you go than how you get there.
So as I have tried to do for so many birthdays, I recommitted myself to loving God with my whole being and loving my neighbor as myself. Everything else is extra.
Wed, April 18, 2012
by Howard Kenyon