18 Again | Josh

In Blog, Josh, NewPodcasts, Podcasts by Josh

I have a not-very-momentous birthday coming up soon. I’m turning 36. It’s not one of those milestone birthdays. No surprise party warranted, no black balloons or over-the-hill cards quite yet. But I tend to get really introspective each year around my birthday (which sometimes leads to depression and it makes my wife super angry because she just wants to celebrate me). This year, I am not bummed out about my birthday. My life is pretty wonderful! But I had some thoughts (a dangerous past time, I know)…

This will be my second 18th birthday. 18+18=36. That’s two full grown adults. I’ve now been a “grown-up” as long as I was a child/adolescent. Here is where the scales begin to tip in favor of ancient wisdom over youthful zeal. And to be honest, I think I’m handling things pretty well. I have a wonderful wife (Elena), two amazing children (Kaylee and Ben) and a job that pays the bills while letting me practice the weird skill-set that is uniquely me. But all of that pales in comparison to the most important thing about my life – really all life, in general…

I’ve known Jesus (personally) for over twenty-eight years. I’ve walked with Him. Talked with Him. Seen Him move. I’ve experienced long seasons of drought where it felt like I was a million miles away from Jesus – and spent eternal moments of splendor weeping at His feet in worship. Most of the time I exist somewhere in between those two poles. A prayer that I’ve adopted as sort of a mantra of middle-age is this:

God, I’m sorry that I keep trying to take back my life. It doesn’t belong to me. It is yours. Help me to be who and how you want me to be, for Your Glory. I can’t do this on my own.

It’s pretty simple, but that little prayer represents so much of my life-long journey with Jesus. A pastor friend of mine likes to say “The problem with living sacrifices is that they keep crawling off of the altar.” He isn’t wrong. The back and forth between obedience and failure – hope and sin – serving and self-serving is really really exhausting, right? It’s just exhausting.

So if you find yourself weary, here’s a bit of encouragement: You’re not alone. I’m right there with you. So are many of our brothers and sisters in Christ. There’s a reason the Bible often describes the Kingdom of Heaven as a place of rest. We are gonna be tired at the end of this race! Keep running. Keep trying. And every once in a while, stop Ā and take a deep look at what you have to be thankful for. And eat some cake. I’m hoping it will be doberge…