I’m sixty today, and maybe a tad reflective.
I’ve graduated. I’m officially a senior citizen. The Canadian government will send me money every month just for staying alive (and because I paid into the Canada Pension Plan, but doesn’t “just for staying alive” have a cool ring to it?). I’ve reached an age beyond that of both of my mothers. This morning, I’m exhaling just a little bit.
Milestones like this cause one to reflect on life purpose, but I think I’ve got that one figured out: glorify God and enjoy Him. That’s more than enough to keep me occupied for whatever days remain for me here on this earth.
I spent time at the beginning of this year drafting a personal Rule (or Rhythm) of Life, and choosing a focus word that might be the last one I ever choose because it’s multi-faceted and all-encompassing (it’s WORD). These, intended as guides to glorifying and enjoying.
I don’t make resolutions or set goals. Honestly, I think that if I could just get a handle on how to love that would be enough. Just two things: love God and love my neighbour as myself. I try, but on too many days I fail—before my feet hit the floor, some days. I rely on the mercy of my Creator, trusting that he grants me grace in my failure and opportunity to try again.
Sometimes, I recite the Shema in my mind when I feel the blanket of not-love fall over me. Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God, the Lord is one. Listen, Linda, to this one most important thing that the Creator, the one God, asks of you. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and mind, and soul, and strength. All encompassing. With every single thing you’ve got. Living and active.
I’m not completely sure what the loving God part looks like practically, but I keep trying to figure it out. I’m maybe marginally closer now than I was a decade ago. It’s two steps forward and one step back mostly, but it all flows from the amazing love I caught a glimpse of along the way. That, and some precious and personal gifts: the sweetness, Augustine referred to it as. It keeps me going when things get dark.
Then there’s the addendum that God’s only begotten added: And love your neighbour as yourself. There’s nothing more important than these two things, I’m told. But, that neighbour part? Yeah, that’s my Achilles heel.
Because people. They cut you off in traffic, they have different opinions about all manner of things, they want to zig when I want to zag, and too often my first response is not love.
If I could just get a handle on what it means to love God and love people, and do it consistently, I would come to the end of my days relatively satisfied that I had done what I was called to do— that maybe I’d hear “well done” when I finally make it home.
I keep trying, and falling, and getting up again; leaning in hard to the wisdom of my Creator; remembering that faith, expressing itself through love, is the only thing that counts; and that there is nothing more important than love.
That’s the view from sixty.
Happy # 60!
Thank you, Paige!
happy, Happy, HAPPY birthday to YOU!
Thank you, Laurie!
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you! You’re just a youngster…with beautiful goals in mind. Couldn’t be richer than to love God and love people.
Thank you, Sherrey. I don’t feel too much like a youngster…yet, some days, I do. And yes, couldn’t be richer than to love. 🙂
Happy Birthday Linda. Beautiful reflective post.
Thanks so much, Martha.
Happy happy birthday!!!
Thank you, Tammy.
HAPPY 60th, LINDA! May this be a great year to practice the wise words of Deuteronomy 6 and grow in love. Thank you for aspiring to noble thoughts and actions and inspiring me to do the same. 🙂
Amen and amen, Marian. Thank you for being an inspiration to me too. Soli Deo gloria.
Hi Linda! I came across your website after reading your March InScribe blog post. The title of this post caught my eye. I think the reason being I had my 65th birthday on Jan. 23. Wow, 65! I used to think it was ancient. Now I’m here it’s pretty cool to learn 65 is just a number. I believe I’m eligible for a “senior’s discount” on restaurant meals but that’s about all that has changed from my perspective. I’m still active. I write a lot. I spend time with my family. I see my grandchildren growing up. How did my oldest grandchild get to be 11? I’m also, perhaps like you, still on a journey through life. It’s weird, I’m still trying to figure myself out.
I’m glad I found your website. 🙂 Oh, that reminds me I still have work to do on my own website. 🙂
Sounds like your 65 is rich and fulfilling and a gift to you and others. Priceless! Thank you for stopping by today.
As I was reading these words, understanding them from within, my thought was, “God must love Linda very much.” I am sure of that.
I am a little more than a decade older than you are, and the last decade has been one of great change from many responsibilities to fewer. Letting go, yet staying quietly active. A deeply satisfying stage of life.
Thank you for your thoughtful words, Shirley. I am sure if it too—as I’m certain of God’s love for us all. I look forward to this decade, Lord willing, as one of change and settling. I feel it already. These years provide opportunity I once only dreamed of. We are blessed to have them.