Dawn can sometimes be a miracle in slow motion. The dark releases its grip so gradually some mornings we ask ourselves if maybe this is the morning darkness wins its appeal for an extension just this once. But the horizon inches forward. Black gives way to gray and then to a hint of blue. Then come the colors. We invite those who are awake to come see. If we’re driving into the dawn we’re extra careful.
Something has recently dawned on me, and I invite you who read here to watch this sunrise with me. (Don’t worry, it’s good news.)
In the summer of 2006 I read Halftime: Changing Your Game Plan from Success to Significance by Bob Buford in which he explains that after childhood we spend the first half of our male lives figuring things out, then providing for our families. The second half is often more rewarding as skills, lessons learned and wisdom begin to converge. The empty nest and more careful pacing can make for a very enjoyable second half of life. Half-time is when we take a look, assess life thus far and pick which adjustments to make. Buford was clear. Don’t hurry half time, he warned, so your second half can be both fruitful and enjoyable. I’m glad I heeded his words, though it’s made for some extended prayer and contemplation these last several months. We measure half-time on the field or court in minutes; mine has been about fifteen months-worth, even longer. It feels like it’s taken that long for the sun to come up on my thinking, but I llike what I see, and I’m filled with hope and expectancy as I write this.
So TELL us already! (I can almost hear you.)
By God’s grace and with His provision, I’m going to pursue writing in my second half. Maybe not professionally, but certainly for the good of my brothers and sisters in Christ, and a world who’s looking for Him, whether they realize it or not (yet).
I’ve walked around this concept enough times to try a salesman’s patience. I’ve kicked the tires and test driven several things. I’ve even tried to forget about it and set it aside. But the Lord won’t let me. This realization has taken its sweet time coming into full view but it’s here, and it’s real. I’m not a mystic but I do pay attention, and when I decided, a calm settled over me. Call it God’s peace if you want. While writing isn’t the only thing the Lord wants me to do I know He wants me to write. I see myself as kind of a two-talent guy (see Matthew 25) and I’m sure now that writing is one of the things He’s given me. I need to invest it; really invest it..
- I feel about writing the way Eric Liddell felt about running. I feel God’s pleasure when I write. (My middle name is Lydell … does that count for anything?)
- I smile at well-crafted lyrics.
- I cringe at the sight of fundamental mistakes, especially my own.
- I get excited when just the right words come together to help me drive something home.
- I love the process. I’ll edit a piece to death to get things just right.
- Writing this has been fun. Honest. I know people who dread having to write. I thrive on it.
- I even listen to critics with an open mind! (At least the kind-hearted ones.)
I’m not going to quit everything else so I can write, not on your life. (Brenda would shoot, hang then drown me!) We do have obligations; always will.
But the sun is coming up on this, my second half and I LIKE what the Lord is showing me. Looks like my pens and I are stuck with each other!
Edward Bulwer-Lytton is credited with saying “The pen is mightier than the sword” and others have spoken similarly through time. I agree. With skill, love and patience, the written word can do more good than we can imagine, in a world that’s ready and waiting. The pen can slice, mame and injure too, but I want to be one of those who influences and calls people to truth, faithfulness and joyful living in Christ.
So there you have it; a hint of what to expect as the sky brightens and the sun begins to warm the day. It’s been a slow sunrise, but I’m glad I waited.