Monday, March 31, 2008

Percolating thoughts

Saturday was birthday #51.

A time of celebration, a time of joy, a time of reflection - all at once.

It is a much different time in my life - love life is an A-plus, health is C-minus, up from D-plus, finances are still somewhere between C-minus and D-plus, family still struggling physically and financially. Definitely a "mixed bag," you might say.

I have been both celebrating items of gratitude, and bouts of "regretting the past and wishing to shut the door on it." Now that I have someone to spend time and money with, I sure could use some of the "wasted days and wasted nights" and some of the untold piles of dollars I have lost (or missed out on) over the years. There have been days when the weight of the "if onlys" have been pretty immense, to be honest.

And yes, before you say it - I know. I really do. If I hadn't done everything I had done, taken every step and mis-step I've taken up to this point, I wouldn't be here. If I hadn't moved to Toledo, I might not have been in a position to find love in the first place. If I hadn't had the job from Hell, I wouldn't have had the chance to move here and help out my family. If I hadn't had all those drinks, I wouldn't have found the blessed fellowship I now participate in.

Here's an interesting one - if I had come out sooner in life, I might well have engaged in behavior that would have earned me one of the millions of funerals that have happened over the twenty-five years. I might be dealing with a much more lethal disease than diabetes (though I am not for a minute minimizing the effects of that one, either).

So, every time I bring up what "woulda/ coulda/ shoulda" happened, I have to admit this:

I should be dead.
I should be in jail.
I should be in an institution somewhere.
I qualfied for each, time and time again.

Rascall Flats said it best, especially to the love of my life - but for the One who loves me, as well:

Every long lost dream
Led me to where You are
Others who broke my heart
They were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way
Into Your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to You.

Soli Deo gratias. To God alone be the glory.

Oh, and just so you know I haven't lost my sense of humor entirely, here is the very best blogger's birthday cake I've seen (double-click on it to see it bigger):

Topics yet to come:
- prayer as a tool to healing the past;
- "simple church" a la [rwk];
- the feel good movie of 2008; and
- two places I never expected to be in the next two weeks.

Keep comin' back...


Poor Mad Peter said...

I can resonate with all of it, Steve man, and it's true--somehow the zigzag path we've walked has led us to This Place.

When Joyce and I were together in our early days and I was still reeling from the wonder of it all, Bruce Cockburn's album Stealing Fire came out. In it were the lines "the mercies of the the currents that brought you to me and me to you."


Now, it seems that all the wounds and brokenness have prepared me for life right now.

Not a bad trade, I'd say.

Michael said...

Belated Happy 51st!

A friend used to say, "I don't care what I get as long as it's not what I deserve."

Hope said...

Happy birthday Steve. Saturday I was celebrating 20 years of sobriety at my home group. You have been a part of my journey to such a celebration. I wish you a very blessed year.

Heidi Renee said...

Happy Belated Birthday!

Bear Me Out said...

Happy Birthday!!! Glad the A+ is in the right category. Keep it up and the others will a) get better, or b) you won't care!