Milestones, More Fun Than . . ., and Love

“You never ask a woman her age,” so goes conventional wisdom. Today we will celebrate one of those milestone birthdays. Patty turns the new 40 today. Yes, you will have to guess as I plan not to threaten our weekend plans with a tell all. Happy Birthday Patty!

I recently noted that 2013 means several milestones for our family. Patty gets to kick it off today. We have talked about aging. You 30-somethings who may read this blog might begin thinking about this. Just yesterday we were 30-something. Our bodies begin to talk to us more frequently. We hear things like, “Why did you do that?” Or, “What were you thinking?” But, we keep going nonetheless.

usngrands2013Patty and me have shared four decade marking birthdays together. That is a milestone. We have actually looked forward to this season of life. We still get to hang out with our children, entertain our grandchildren, and do some things we have only talked about in the past. We hope to look back on this year and talk about the changes we made to maintain good health to enjoy what we may. For those of you nearing or past this milestone know what I am writing about.

There was a day when our bodies snapped back quickly after something strenuous. We could eat with impunity whatever we liked. Not so today. Increasingly we see those sweets showing up in not so sweet places. We will look for adding things to our diet that help with energy while disposing of those foods that sap that same energy. Exercise will take on a different purpose. We will swim and walk both to feel better and also to talk about what is next for us. We really enjoy each other’s company. We better, right?

In the attached photo you see our two grandsons. They add a measure of psychological energy. Cohen is at the place where sitting is for old people. He sits just long enough to catch his breath and then he grabs you by the finger as if to say, “Come on Grammy, there is fun to be had.” Max is hot on his heals. Now walking, he may not grab us by the hand yet, but he says, “Follow me!” We may collapse after chasing the two for a day, but that we can keep up spurs us to say, “We still got it!”

St. Augustine once asked, “What do I love when I say I love God?” The question could well be asked when we say we love our spouse, our children, our grands, or just about anyone with whom we are in relationship. Do we love them for what we receive? Do we love them for our experiences we share? Do we love them because they are people whom give meaning and add to our sense of purpose in this life? Do we love them because they love us?

Over the years I have heard Father Rohr talk about love from the vantage point of great suffering. He is prone to say, “Without great suffering there cannot be great love.” He certainly has Jesus in mind. My recent reading of Alain Baidou seems to say the same thing and criticizes the way we have sterilized the experience of love by hedging all our relationships against all risks. Zizek, channeled by Rollins, contends we confuse desire or being desired with love. That is why sometimes people experience the end of romance once we have caught our mate. The energy exerted in the chase dissipates once there is no chase. The problem is we love the idea of love or being in love and not the one whom we purport to love.

At that point we really do have to think about the other. It can no longer be what I want or pursue. And, that is the risk. The sort that says, “My interest is now in you.” And, “I will not marginalize nor adulterate you by allowing our future to only be seen though my eyes.” The two become one become two. And in our case, the two become one, become two, become four, become six, become eight, and . . .

About the Author
Husband to Patty. Daddy to Kimberly and Tommie. Grandpa Doc to Cohen, Max, Fox, and Marlee. Pastor to Snow Hill Baptist Church. Graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reading. Photography. Golf. Colorado. Jeeping. Friend. The views and opinions expressed here are my own and should not be construed as representing the corporate views of the church I pastor.

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