I Never Thought I’d Live This Long But . . .

I Never Thought I’d Live This Long But . . .

 

Today, March 13, I’m setting a personal record for most days lived, but I never thought I’d live this long.

 

Here are a few reasons why I figured I’d be with Jesus by now:

 

  • Everything in my life came early. Married at 18. Managing people at 19. First kid at 21. First pastoring job at 21. Oh, and prostate cancer at 53.

 

  • I tend to live on the edge. Full throttle is normal for me. Taking risks is fun in my book. (Yes, I am an adrenaline junky). If my mother only knew some of the crazy stunts I’ve survived.

 

  • My dad died at 63, his dad died in his mid-sixties, and his brother died before him at 65.

 

I always had it in my head that it’d be a miracle if I even made sixty. But here I am, sixty-four and still above ground. Go figure.

 

 

Okay, why all this depressing, morbid stuff?

 

Something happened in my heart this morning: I’ve accepted that I’m absolutely in the last third of my life, but it’s okay.

 

I may live to be a hundred. (But unless docs figure out how to do a spine transplant, I hope not.)

 

I might only live another month, year, decade, or two—I don’t know—but it’s okay.

 

Whenever that final day comes, what matters most is that I’ve run my race and finished the course. No race is run perfectly. I’ve made 10,000 mistakes along the way (give or take a thousand). And that's okay too. 🙂

 

If I chose to, I could live consumed by regrets. When you’ve lived over 23,000 days and well over half a million hours, you can point to many things that didn’t go well.

 

But if you’re an aging boomer like me (or any age, really), I encourage you to spend more time investing in today and looking forward to your future rather than looking back.

 

 

We can’t change what was, only what is and what may be.

 

I love this quote by the famous Dallas Cowboy football coach Tom Landry: “Today, you have 100% of your time left.”

 

Think about it. Today is all you have for certain. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed.

 

 

So today . . .

 

  • Today, you can invest in the relationships you have and make new ones. You can call your kids or grandkids, take your BFF out to lunch, or go for a long walk with your spouse.

 

  • Today, you can learn something new. Turn off the idiot box. Read a book. (Did you know science has proved reading is good for your emotions and your brain?) You can do some research on a topic you know nothing about but have always wondered about. You can pull out that Spanish dictionary and learn some new words. Never stop learning.

 

  • Today, you can finish that project you keep putting off until “tomorrow.”

 

  • Today, you can get started writing that book you’ve always wanted to write. (Everyone has a story.)

 

  • Today, you can choose to forgive that person, and if possible, attempt reconciliation. Let forgiveness and kindness be what they remember about you.

 

Okay, I’ve gotta go.

 

I’m on the last chapter of the first novel I’m writing. So, today I want to finish the draft because today might be all the time I have left. Or maybe, just maybe, I’ll write another ten or twenty books before I go home.

 

Only Jesus knows, but it’s okay—I’m okay!

 

How about you?

 

So be careful how you live; be mindful of your steps.

Don’t run around like idiots as the rest of the world does.

Instead, walk as the wise!

Make the most of every living and breathing moment…

Ephesians 5:15-16 (The Voice)

 

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22 thoughts on “I Never Thought I’d Live This Long But . . .

  1. I know exactly where you’re coming from. My dad, one grandfather and 3 out of 4 uncles never made it past their mid-sixties and I had prostate cancer at 55. In my younger days the way I was living I never expected to make it this far but here I am just a year and a half away from the big 6-0! I figure that means God still has something planned for both of us. That is a VERY encouraging thought!
    Happy birthday and may you see many more! Love ya’ brother!

  2. Happy fellow birthday Kurt, My BFF is my bride. As a man now in his 70th year, 5 years older than you whipper snapper. I am extremely blessed. ( I went skiing at Lookout today. A Bluebird day!!
    Thanks Brother.

  3. You definitely got me thinking. There have been so many moments I have wasted on regrets. It’s time to live in the now
    And trust that tomorrow is in the hands of Jesus and it’s OK! Thank you! I have people to call, its been way too long!

  4. Happy Birthday Kurt. Great encouragement for everyone but especially for those of us in the last 1/3 of the rest of our lives, we still have 100% to live. Equally important for younger people to love, laugh, and live their lives to the utmost and the fullest that the good Lord has for them.

  5. God is always taking care of us and always loving us! He is a wonderful Father who wants us to enjoy life and all the blessings He gives us everyday! Lord please help us focus on all the good things in our lives and to never miss a moment to love and be thankful for all the great things you do! In Jesus name, Amen!

  6. HAPPY BIRTHDAY KURT “:) <3 It is a Blessing to be able to see you in the Ministry Our Lord has called you to <3

  7. I LOVE this! Thank you! I was just praying about TODAY… and asking. God to keep my thoughts away from tomorrow or even yesterday… for those just perpetuate depression and anxiety! I’m so thankful for another day and thankful for you! Happy Birthday Kurt! God danced the day YOU were born! Praying today is a glorious celebration of YOU… for YOU are loved!

  8. Thanks Kurt. At 65, I needed that this morning. I am grateful for each new day. A very happy birthday to you! We are so incredibly blessed .

  9. Happy Birthday Pastor Kurt! Thank you for your words of wisdom and encouragement. I hope you have a great birthday!

  10. Dear Pastor Kurt , HAPPY BIRTHDAY God willing you have many more years left to help lead the flock because we need you . I too have been fully aware of the fact life can end unannounced and we are not promised tomorrow! Love your encouragement and advice. I was feeling blue I’ve had 3 people close to my husband and I pass away in the last 2 weeks and one lived life like there was no tomorrow , she was only 27 years old and now dancing with the angels.

    1. Hi Cindy, I am so sorry for your loss. No one knows how many birthdays they will have, huh? Living today to the fullest matters most. Thank you for the birthday wishes!

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