Birthdays are the inevitability of life, the one constant in an otherwise ever-changing environment. As one races helter-skelter through the assigned destiny, the fives and tens come and go, flashing by like stations on a train route, destinations of “hop-on; hop off” on a headlong maelstrom of “enjoy it while you can.” But the more birthdays one puts under their belt (or under the radar screen in today’s hi-tech parlance) a certain realization begins to overwhelm the psyche. Life is not endless. There is a supreme destination for us all somewhere along the line; and the more birthdays we enjoy, the less there are to look forward to.

At some point along my own journey to eternity, following a particularly challenging part of the experience, a singular line of biblical scripture burned itself so permanently into my being, that I have lived it to the full ever since. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. As I became a more astute student of bibliology, I discovered its underpinnings in the words of Jesus Christ when he declared Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

As is to be expected, there are certain milestones in the pathway of life that give pleasure or pain, depending on each circumstance. I recently did a piece for instance on my own adventure on stepping into the threshold of the territory of Moses, and what a daunting experience it was. Somewhat parenthetically, the news began to come through that Billy Graham was close to stepping across the threshold of the eternal promise – at a grand old age of 95. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.
~ Eubie Blake, on reaching 100 ~

There are the strivings in life of course – the older we get, the more reflective we seem to become. But the “woulda, coulda, shoulda’s” are just that. In the old English phraseology – “If ands and buts were candy-nuts, we’d all be millionaires.” The bottom-line lesson of life is to take each day one day at a time and quit worrying about the stuff that really doesn’t matter. Considering that God designed the body to completely regenerate itself every 7 years, 10 generations gets you into Moses territory; 12 gets you into the vaunted “if by reason of strength;” and 13 or above gets you into Billy Graham-hood!


Mid-life is the plateau of pleasantry – Too young to be old; yet old enough to know the difference. A “sage” to the up-and-coming; yet still a student to the Moses crowd; at the pinnacle of career aspirations, yet energized enough to at least think about dumping it all and go climb Mount Everest, or parachute jump from 5000 feet. At mid-life the world is your oyster and yours to contemplate at will.

To find some worthy examples of what I’m talking about, it took me (according to Google) 0.035 seconds to come up with the following:

Late Mid-Life Bloomers ..

Steve Jobs – Already famous for Apple, introduced iTunes at the age of 50; at 51 the iPhone; and at 54, just before his untimely death, the iPad.
Russ Umphenour A farm boy turned Arby’s entrepreneur owned 775 Arby’s outlets before he sold his company, RTM, in 2005. But once a leader, always a leader, so he became the CEO and President of Focus Brands at age 63 and currently oversees the franchise operations of Moe’s, Cinnabon, Carvel, Auntie Ann’s Pretzels, and Schlotzsky’s.
Colonel Harland Sanders – Started the first Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise at age 65.
Grandma Moses – Began painting at 76, after arthritis forced her to give up embroidery. She continued painting until the age of 101.
Julia Child – Became a chef after many years as a secret intelligence officer. She was 49 when her first book was published, 51 when her TV program “The French Chef” first aired.
Ray Kroc – Went from being a salesman to opening the first McDonald’s at age 52.
Raymond Chandler – Became a bookkeeper after an unsuccessful career in journalism. Published his first book, “The Big Sleep,” at the age of 51.

A seasoned woman is spicy, writes Gail Sheehy, the over-50-and-proud author of “Passages” and founder of the Seasoned Women’s Network online. ‘She has been marinated in life experience. She is at the peak of her influence and power. She is committed to living fully and passionately in the second half of life, despite failures and false starts.

Sister Marion Irvine – Started running at age 47, when she was overweight and smoking 2 packs of cigarettes a day. Went on to qualify for the Olympic marathon trials at age 54.
Marjorie Stoneman Douglas – Began her environmental work when in her 60s. Started her long fight to protect the Everglades at age 78, which she continued to do until she was 100 years old.
Laura Ingalls Wilder – Published the first book in the “Little House on the Prairie” series at 65.
Wallace Stevens – Changed his career from insurance salesman to poet in his 50s.
Maya Angelou – Was in her 60s when her poetry and books became popular.
Alfred Hitchcock – Directed his best films between the ages of 54 and 61.
Susan Boyle – Achieved worldwide recognition for her singing talent at age 48 (almost 50!)

2053_1071280828453_5959_nGrow old along with me! The best is yet to be, The last of life, for which the first was made: Our times are in his hand Who sayeth ‘A whole I planned, Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!’
Robert Browning ~

And of course, there are many others who may have always known their calling, but who continued producing some of their best work into their 80s and beyond – People like Picasso, Tolstoy, Goethe, Michelangelo, DaVinci, Benjamin Franklin and others, to name just a few. The very best wishes to you, dear Lisa, are very much in order, as you enter the portal of opportunity afforded you by the God of Ages! It is your time and God is mightily pleased about it. You only have one life to live, so this is IT kid – Don’t mess it up. Just keep in mind that the more daunting territory of Moses lies ahead, just a’ways up the pike about 20-plus years or so.

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom..

References: Psalm 90; Matthew 6:34; E.W.Bullinger : Number in Scripture; and the wonderful Marty Goetz

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