I just had a milestone birthday and it makes me happy. I decided several milestones ago that I’d just be the best (insert whatever age) this world had ever seen! (It’s a little personal mantra that has changed my whole outlook.) I don’t want to skydive or swim with sharks (yuck), but I do want to walk the Camino de Santiago someday…and I definitely want to be on the cutting edge of whatever God is doing, reformation-wise, spiritually and politically. 

I think it’s curious that we do life and gain wisdom along the way. I SO wish the wisdom had come first, but I’m not in charge. In retrospect, I can finally glimpse the spiritual wisdom of the ancients. (I say “glimpse.” I have such a long way to go. I hope I get more years…)  

To summarize, in early life, we define ourselves by body and self-image, then progress to external behavior, then to thoughts and feelings, then to deeper intuitions. But at some point, we face our unvarnished self, a process that’s sometimes called the “dark night of the soul.” And then, if we haven’t scrambled back to previous “safer” spaces, we start getting to the crux of the matter. We start understanding deep in our gut that almost any attempts to save ourselves by superior behavior or whatnot will fail us. We let God be God. And we cease striving and start understanding… 

In some ways, I’ve had a successful life. In other ways, man, it’s been tough. That’s partly my responsibility and partly way beyond my control. But I think the point is that our success-o-meter doesn’t really matter. In Matthew 18, Jesus said the Father isn’t willing for anyone to perish. I think he wants all of us, whether we’re covered with medals or covered with scars, to find this good life.