Reflections at 60

I turned 60 today.  So after 6 decades of life,  I think I’ve learned a few things  But I’m still learning. One of my favorite Chinese sayings (now that I’m “older”) is “one is never too old to learn” 老到学, 老到活.  So here are a few things I have learned or am learning…

I am not the center of the world.  It’s easy to think that way since I am single and live alone.  But it’s simply not true.

The most precious gifts cannot be bought.  These include people, nature, laughter, music, fun, creativity, health, community, peace and more.  Not possessions, power, entertainment, assets, etc.

People will live forever and are always more important than things.

I will take nothing with me when I die.  I was with both my father and then my mother when they breathed their last breath.  I’ll never forget the sacredness of the moment but also the stark reality that they were gone. Even the shells of their bodies were left behind as their souls left.  They took nothing with them.   So when I get possession focused, I remind myself of this.

Forgiveness is one of the most powerful supernatural avenues for peace. Yet it is sadly under-used.  It’s not about the denial of wrongs but it’s about confronting the wrongs, confessing, reconciling, healing and moving on.

Hope is one of the most driving forces in humans’ hearts. When one believes that some day wrongs will be righted, life will be easier, joy will come, fulfillment will come, the game will be won,  there is a reason for all the hard things of life, then one can face anything.  But if there is no hope, one dies.  Maybe not outwardly, but inwardly.

Good health– mental, physical, emotional and spiritual –needs to be a serious goal in my life.  Modern science cannot fix everything.  Sleep and relaxation needs to be a part of that– hard for those of us who like to keep busy.

Fun and relaxation are part of life.  They should never be my goal in life but they are a healthy component of life. And I need not to feel guilty sitting down with a good book or pencil and sketchpad or walking through the woods or sitting down with a friend and chatting over a cup of coffee.

Life is about being not doing. This is hard!  I realize that I’m so performance driven.   How well I do something should not shape my identity. And what I do outwardly needs to be coming from who I am.

As a follower of Jesus and a child of God I want to “do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with my God.”  I want a heart that is like His heart which cares for those who are unreconciled to Him and for those who are marginalized in society.   I want to know Him and make Him known.

I wonder in ten years what changes I will make to this list… if I’m still around.


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