In the eyes of many in this world, I've not achieved true success.
|Reaching for the Stars (or is it Stairs?)... Or Reaching 50
by Marilyn Mackenzie
George Carlin said: "You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, you're PUSHING 40, you REACH 50. Then you MAKE IT to 60."
April 13, 2002 was the magical date on which I reached the age of 50. Like many others, knowing that the age of 50 was creeping up on me made me want to reflect on the life that was and the one that looms ahead, the one that will be or could be.
If you've ever read any of my other "works of heart," you've already learned about the kind of person I have been. You've discovered the life I've tried to live, the attitude I've carried along with me on life’s often difficult journey. Perhaps that describes my sunny (and some think, rather carefree) disposition best. If I'm honest with you, the readers, and with myself, I have to admit that often times when I've awakened in the morning, that sunny Kenzie hasn't always been in evidence. At those times in my life I've had to dig through the closet or my dresser drawers to come up with some "sunny clothes."
For years, I had a red business suit that would give me that bright, cheerful feeling when I donned it, and I'd suddenly have a skip in my step and be able to sing all the way to work. If I were just going to be hanging around the house, there were some tee-shirts I could wear. There was one that said, "Who me? Stressed?" Another had a cat hanging upside down on a tree branch, with its fur obviously ruffled that said, "I'm not as calm as I look." Still another said, "I put all my eggs in one basket. And I gave them to the Lord."
There’s the real secret to my ability to see sunshine in the midst of rain. I've learned to "cast my cares upon Him." Early in my life, Philipians 4:13 became my favorite Bible verse. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Each morning, I've wakened knowing I'm a child of the King. I've talked with God and read His wonderful instruction manual, the Bible. And, perhaps as I've donned clothes that will help me react to the world with a smile on my lips, I've actually been putting on the Armor of God.
"By Jove, I think she’s got it!" Each morning, for more mornings than I care to count, I've put on the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness. My feet were shod and ready to go wherever God would send me or lead me, to spread His love. I carried with me the shield of faith, have worn the helmet of salvation. And, always the sword, God’s word, was with me. (See Ephesians 6:14-17.)
As I reflected on the years I've lived and the years I hope to enjoy in the future, I realized that in the eyes of many in this world, I've not achieved true success. I've not made millions nor accumulated luxury cars or fancy clothes.
But, I have shared God’s love. I've smiled at strangers and have spoken to them when they've seemed wounded by the world around us. I've hugged people at work, when human resources personnel said that such things might be misconstrued and should be avoided.
In the end, my judge won't be people of this world. In the end, I'll stand in judgment at His throne. And I can only hope that I've smiled and shared love in the way God gifted me best, so that He will be pleased.
As our brother Paul always said, "Grace and peace to you."