For My Kids on the Occasion of My 40th Birthday

For My Kids on the Occasion of My 40th Birthday

Tomorrow I turn 40. Lord willing, I’m about halfway done with this marathon we call life.

God has been so gracious to me. I have a godly wife who makes me laugh every day and two teenage children who grow daily in faith and wisdom. 25 and 27 years from now Camille and Soren will celebrate their 40th birthdays. This post is for them: it’s the hard-earned wisdom that I’ve accumulated over my years that I hope they can learn from. I hope it blesses you as well.

Here are the top ten truths I’ve learned in my 40 years:

1)     Seek wisdom

There is no end to foolishness in this world. Wisdom is a rare commodity. Run hard after it. Look to those whose character you admire. Listen to what they say and read what they write. When I was a kid, I was a sponge for sports trivia. I got a jolt in being able to know something someone else didn’t. In college I caught the bug for philosophical and theological knowledge. It took me until my later twenties and thirties to develop a stronger thirst for wisdom than knowledge. Accumulated wisdom is like the water of a river, it will smooth and shape the stones in its bed over time.

Watching Wisdom Grow

Watching Wisdom Grow

“Out of the mouths of babes.” We tend to use that phrase when small children parrot something profound. We chuckle, but we know that their comprehension of the truth that they spoke may or may not be there.

I didn’t expect to enjoy parenting middle schoolers so much. I held my breath when my daughter began sixth grade. She just graduated from eighth grade. Boy did she prove me wrong. Parenting two middle schoolers has been pure joy. More fun, even, than parenting them in grade school (although that was pretty great too).

Camille (14) and Soren (12) are sinners just like the rest of us, but what a gift it has been to watch them grow in character, wisdom, and in their relationship with God in middle school.

Recently Soren had an operation on a hernia. He and Angel left early for the hospital. I woke Camille up and we went to school. The whole ride to school (typically a time we are talking), she was writing a text that she wanted Angel to read to Soren before he went into surgery. When we pulled into the drop off area at her school she asked me to pull into a parking spot so she could finish the text. Only after I got to the hospital did I get to read the words full of rich love and wisdom she sent to her brother.