“I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really: Get busy living or get busy dying.” — Andy Dufresne, The Shawshank Redemption
“I call on heaven and earth as witnesses today that I have offered you life or death, blessings or curses. Choose life so that you and your descendants will live.”
— Deuteronomy 30:19
I find it fascinating that I last posted on this blog exactly a year ago today. It seems fitting that I have chosen my odyssey of “50 Days to 50 Years!” as the series to revitalize it.
As I approach my 50th revolution around the sun, I have chosen life, and will always choose life. Many times along the road I have had opportunity to choose otherwise, and it is because of the encounters, life circumstances, and deaths in the midst of my journey that I have chosen to embrace the time leading to my actual birthday with celebration, rather than somberness.
You see, I really never expected to see 50. I was a suicidal teenager, and had crafted an elaborate plan to end it all when I finished high school. Thanks to a lot of prayer and a real encounter with death when I was 16, I was fortunate enough to revise that plan.
Then in my early 20s, I was caught up with eschatology (the study of the “end of days” or “end times”), so I just knew that Jesus would return and the world would end before I was 30. Thankfully I distanced myself from those energy draining pursuits well before my 30th year, and amazingly, life went on, and so did I. I still believe Jesus is coming back, I just focus more on what he wants me to do in the here and now, rather than obsess about times and seasons that are not in my control.
Then there are those who were not as blessed as me; mainly my two sisters, Barbara and June.
Barbara died from a massive seizure in 1992; she was only 36. In 2008, June lost a long battle with cancer at 49, months before her 50th birthday.
So I have reason to live, and reason to celebrate. In the 50 days leading up to August 2 (my actual birth day), I plan to document my celebrations, with various bucket list items, things I have always wanted to do, and most notably, 50 friends and family that I will spend time with over these 50 days to acknowledge their contribution to making my life worth living.
So here’s to 50! All it entails, the highs, the lows, the challenges, and the triumphs, I fully embrace with open arms, and rejoice to see the day. Anything else is not an option.
I hope you enjoy traveling with me, as I embrace the change of season, the change of life, and the turn of a new decade.
This is 50…