I see my life as a series of peaks with each peak representing ten years. It could be because I am from Colorado, famous for mountains and snow, or it could be this time of year in the Northern Hemisphere, but I see these peaks blanketed in beautiful powder snow.
When a new “zero” comes around, I picture myself at the top of one of the peaks. I am able to see the decade behind me and the picture my footsteps made the in the snow. Step-by-step 30 becomes 31 and 32 and 33 and the years pass until my final step on that peak is taken.
Often I have a different perspective when I look back and survey the decade behind me than I did at the in the middle of the steps I took. Parts are fun to review, others, frankly I care less about with time; on occasion, I can see how good came out of seasons that I never could have anticipated good when I was in the middle of them.
Then I turn and look at the fresh snow before me—the next decade I will live. I wonder how my story will continue? How will it change? What do I hope to see as I look back when I reach the next peak?
Not all of my thoughts are deep. I wonder if this will finally be the decade that my beloved Denver Broncos (American football) and Kansas Jayhawks (the most amazing university in America) will each be champions in the same year. That, that my friends will be a year to behold!
I do not have any clear memories of turning 10 or 20. Age 30 found me celebrating in Chengdu (China) and I rang 40 in by “making” my community in Beijing come to a murder mystery dinner in the midst of all the busyness of the holidays. I remember turning 30 and 40, looking back at my footsteps of my life in the snow. In many ways, my 20s and 30s were nothing like what I had anticipated when it came to specific plans I thought might unfold. But in ways that matter, they went “according to plan” – grow, invest, enjoy, laugh, befriend.
I reached another peak last week. I am at the beginning of a fresh decade. The landscape of white in front of me. It is my year of jubilee. I am 50! (and I am 50? What in the world!)
I am aware that my dad only saw two peaks beyond where I stand. I am not guaranteed to see even that many.
You are also at the beginning, maybe not of a decade, but of a fresh year—be it in the Church Year or the calendar year. The snow is freshly fallen and you have yet to take many steps.
The theme last week at Velvet Ashes was “fresh,” what freshness do you need as you travel through 2018?
Do you need in your home, in your work, within yourself:
A fresh sense of anticipation
A fresh perspective
A fresh mindset
A fresh understanding of God himself
A fresh relationship with your health
A fresh understanding of what it means to serve cross-culturally
Fresh communication skills
Fresh cultural insight
“Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’” (from Revelation 21)
Savor that word. Let it roll around on your tongue. Behold.
Though this verse is about the new heaven and the new earth, we know God is in the business of making all things new. As you stand at the mini-peak of this new year, behold! God can give you fresh hope, fresh love, fresh joy, fresh long-suffering.
What do you need God to make fresh in you and your life? I said that my goals are to “grow, invest, enjoy, laugh, befriend”—what are the overall goals of your life?
A version of this first appeared on Velvet Ashes. Image by Karen Huber.
mark allman says
Happy Birthday!! I hope it was a great one!
To grow, invest, enjoy, laugh, and befriend are great goals to pursue. May that go well for you. May we all pursue them. I want to learn more what Micah 6:9 means. I want to do that what God wants of us; to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly.
Happy Birthday! This is a beautiful, well written article which brought tears to my eyes and brings me hope. Here’s to the fresh of 2018!
Amy Boucher Pye says
Welcome to 50, lovely Amy! I pray you’ll have a fabulous time of jubilee. The world is a better place with you in it.
Jody Collins says
Turning 50 was my favorite birthday :) The years look good on you, friend. I always enjoy your perspective and voice; this time I could almost hear your smile.