I’m turning 50 this week.
I’m not yet fifty — it’s just one day away — but I thought I’d lead you through my journey, and maybe you’ll learn a thing or two that will help you on your journey.
Alone, But Not
You know how it is when you feel less alone when someone else can understand your pain?
There are days when I live like a practical atheist.
Not that I don’t care about God, but that I don’t even think about God.
It would be easy to beat myself up with questions like these:
– Don’t you care about God anymore?
– Are you doubting God cares?
– Where’s your faith?
– Do you think you can handle life without God now?
– So, you really do finally accept believing in God is a lie?
It would be easy to beat myself up with accusations like these:
– Well, isn’t that just typical successful people relying on themselves!
– People are trusting in you and relying on your prayers for them!
– You take time for what you really care about like…fantasy football?!?
– That’s just like how you treat Amy some days!
– You are a fraud!
Fortunately, I’m Not Alone.
Solomon, called the wisest man who ever lived, learned the hard way that he couldn’t live as if there were no God.
Solomon, was now a wise old man who according to the standards of his day, and ours, had everything — Everything most guys want: money, sex & power — and it left him feeling empty.
– Money? He was the wealthiest man alive
– Sex? He had a thousand women freely available to him 24/7/365
– Power? He was the leader of the most powerful empire of his day
Although Solomon gives hints at the final answer throughout Ecclesiastes he finally plays his last card. This trumps everything he said before:
“That’s the whole story. Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty. God will judge us for everything we do, including every secret thing, whether good or bad.” 1
It’s as simple as that?
Our ultimate purpose is wrapped up in relationships. Relationships with the God, with God’s ways, with the people God created. And, if I — if we — have thoughts about trying to get away with being self-serving, Solomon reminds us that each of us is headed for a day of accountability before God.
But wait! Fear God?!?
What does it mean to “fear God,” and what does it mean to “obey his commands”? Which ones, and why?
I smiled as I typed that.
Well, that’s two of the key questions I’m addressing in the book I’m writing called Beyond Whatever.
I never thought it would take until I was fifty to finish the book, but sometimes I neglected God, ignored God or forgot about God for a little while while I raced through the busyness of the life I’ve lived.
There’s much more to say — and I’ve written in the past about what it means to “Fear God and obey his commands” — but I’ll just summarize it briefly like this:
Fearing God is a lifestyle:
– A lifestyle of humble dependence upon God
– A lifestyle of humble inter-dependence upon other people.
God is all about relationships!
As 49 years and 364 days becomes 50 tomorrow, I hope that I will be more about relationships today than ever before, and less about relationships than I will ever be in the future.
I wanna grow up, and keep growing up.
I need God’s help: “Please God help me!”
I need your help: “Please help me to become a better person!”
Those are mysilentscreams!
1 – Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, NLT
Some of the material I included here was influenced by Kurt De Haan’s Why In The World Am I Here?