We have just celebrated Easter weekend 2014. Good Friday marked a milestone in my life. Fifty-five years ago Katherine Mann gave birth to a ten pound eight ounce baby boy and, she and her husband Leslie, gave him the name “Donald Charles”.
For some reason, my fifty-fifth birthday has had more of an impact on me than some of the other milestones – the fortieth or the fiftieth. Maybe it is because I realize that there is more of life behind me than ahead of me. Even though the retirement age has changed in Canada to sixty-seven, I am still old school enough to think of the mystical retirement age of sixty-five when I will collect my first “old age security cheque”.
It has been sobering to put the next ten years of my life into perspective. What will I do for the next ten years, how will I make it count, what new and exciting things still lie ahead? I don’t want to just “hang in there for the next ten years”; I want to make the next ten years count. I don’t want to coast for the next ten years, I want to accelerate. I don’t want to be consumed by my retirement package and plan, I want to invest in Kingdom purposes.
So, I had the opportunity to do on my birthday what I love doing most, preaching at a Good Friday service in Johannesburg, South Africa. I challenged people to consider carrying the cross of Jesus just as Simon did for Jesus as He was making His way to Golgotha. One man responded and gave his life to Jesus on my fifty-fifth birthday!!! What a birthday gift.
On Sunday, I preach that Jesus died, but God raised Him from the dead. I may never celebrate a milestone birthday again on the day Jesus died, but as long as God gives me breath, I want to share His resurrection power with as many people as I can. I am fifty-five, but God there is so much more that I am ready to do for You. I may be fifty-five, but God help me to make my latter years count for you. I may be fifty-five, but God help me to live with a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. I may be fifty-five, but God I am ready for the best years of my life!
By the way in the midst of preaching three times in three days, my incredible wife managed to make my fifty-fifth a memorable celebration. MJ treated me to an amazing breakfast at an amazing restaurant called Harry’s Pancake House. She even provided a meeting with two zebra’s on our way home from my birthday breakfast. It doesn’t get much better than this!
Until next Monday…