I was thinking of writing something today in honor of Kim's birthday. I couldn't think of anything except the blog below, written 5 years ago while I was on the World Race. The original blog appeared here.
It all started with a simple question from our newest World Racer- Rusty Jackson. He had just finished running about 3 miles in the somewhat sweltering heat and humidity of Thailand. As is often the case among us "old guys" a workout like that will exacerbate all the old war wounds. Rusty was feeling his knees and in the course of conversation he asked, "Do you remember when you got old"? My first response was, "Yeah, when I started the World Race."
I wish I could have just left it at that.
Lying under the mosquito net in a Hill Tribe home later that night the question kept reverberating in my head. I do feel old.
OK, I''m not fishing for a bunch of "you're not old" comments from anyone, especially from my comment obsessed family. I'm just trying to express myself in the vein of my literary hero, Scott Molgard!
But I do remember getting old.
It happened the week I lost Kim. Everything changed. It sounds like a cliche, but part of me died with her. When times were good and we were having fun- I always felt alive. And young. Most people find it hard to believe, but there really were no bad times when we were together. At worst, there were "routine" times; but not bad.
I always felt alive being a Student Minister too. Thirteen years in one church and I was dang good at it! But even that ceased to bring life after Kim died. Almost immediately I started feeling too old and tired and out of touch.
I thought taking Life to the Nations would bring me back to life. It has at points. But mostly I feel like I'm 7+ months into this thing and I'm wondering where and when I'm going to find life. I know who I am in Christ. I'm "awake" to who I am in the Kingdom. I know better than live in the trap of finding my identity in what I do (a Student Minister or Missionary). .
I think I'm headed for a crisis of faith. When the Race started I didn't care about what happened afterwards, but now that the time is drawing near, well, I can't help but think of it. I don't have enough money to be a bum forever. Part of me wants to go home and build a cool little house and pursue the "dream". Part of me wants to go to Ukraine or Croatia or even maybe back here and raise orphans and churches. Part of me is scared to death of that kind of commitment and the work it will take to learn a language. But here I am not getting younger. I've been preaching for a while now three of the most important things are: Love Extravagantly, Live Regretlessly, and Long for Jesus. I really don't want to go through life having a bunch of regrets (leaving my songs unsung as Seth Barnes put it). I almost feel like I've passed the point of no return for some of those things though. If I were remarried and had a kid right now I'd be pushing 60 when he/she finished school! So I want to fly airplanes (but I don't know when I would ever actually use that skill), I want to jump from a plane (that shouldn't be too difficult), I want to have a family, and I want to make a difference in kids' lives.
I've learned all of that and more this year (most of it I already knew) but I haven't figured out yet what to do about it. Or have I and I'm just scared to follow through?
Give me some grace if you feel like I'm whining. I started this blog while I was with LO/Nessa last week and I finished it today- August 19. Today would have been Kim's 36th birthday.