After Four Decades
This weekend I turned forty. I face this new age with enthusiasm and no shame or regrets! I love the number 4. I love that I have spent the last forty years learning and figuring out myself...at least as much as I can, for sure there is more to discover. I love the little shimmers of gray hair that are emerging from my head, because they remind me of experiences, delights, and challenges overcome. However, if I had to share one of the most important things one should know that I have learned after four decades on this earth it would be this.
Find your people.
Now stay with me here. This challenge may not be what you expect. This does not mean find the people who are just like you, who you have the most fun with, or who make life easy. There is much more to finding your people than these great qualities.
Find people who...
*Do not always agree with everything you say and think *Look out for you even when you do not want to be looked out for or need to be looked out for
*Push you *Love God but do not live out their faith perfectly cause newsflash, you don't either!...I will pause and give you a chance to close your gaping mouth ;-).
*Give you their honest opinion when you ask but won't be mad when you ignore it and take a different approach.
*Stand and watch you cross literal and metaphorical streets in your life to make sure you make it to the other side ok even if that means taking time out of their own life journeys and adventures. *Understand the importance of laughter even in the midst of the most challenging circumstances *Take the wheel and drive you to where you need to go whether again that be literally or metaphorically
*Tell you what they think even if they know it is not what you want to hear
*Will be overwhelmingly generous to you when able especially when you are unable to be that generous with yourself *Sit with you in moments of grief even when you are being most unlike yourself
*Wander with you when you are lost or help direct you back to where you belong and is discerning enough to know when to do which one
*Knows the importance of enjoying life and relishing in the blessings of God
*Knows sometimes the best thing to say is nothing at all
*Does not judge you when they do not agree with a choice you are making *Knows when you have made a mistake, will not make a big deal about it, but will hang in there with you as you make your way through it *Does not keep score on who called who last, who tossed out the last invite, or who paid for what last time *Realizes that over time you will both change, but hangs in their with you to uncover the great new things about you and overlooks your new and improved flaws!
*Prays with you, aches for you, cries for you, laughs with you, and laments with you
The thing about turning 40 is that it is a nice round even number. I think 40 is one of the prettiest numbers around. However, I would be hiding a piece of my flaws if I did not tell you that I can never remember how to spell 40. It is the "u" that gets me every time. When writing this number, forty, leaves the "u" out. Remember this when you look for your people. As you get settled in with the people you are meant to do life with, remember that "u" are not the one who is supposed to be in the midst of it all. In fact, you would be ever so wise as to look for ways to be a positive part in your relationships with your people.
What you bring to the table...
Fun Optimisim Respect Trustworthiness Yearning to know and love them no matter what
I recently had a chance to sit around a table and look into the eyes of several of my people that God has so generously blessed me with throughout my four decades of life. Do these people annoy me or frustrate me....absolutely all of them at one time or another. Are they forgiving? Yes. Do they help me grow and open my eyes to new opinions and perspectives...more than I would want them to do ;-). Do they make me feel loved...absolutely! Could I do life without them....sure, but why would I want to do that willingly!
You may be wondering where to find your people.
Remember you are not looking for perfect people, or those identical to you.
Pray about finding your people.
Be the person to someone else that you would want someone to be for you.
Talk to people, as you walk around your neighborhood, at church, at your child's school, at the local library (but not too loud because apparently they don't like noise there ;-)).
Got a hobby? Join a group of people that share the same hobby, these could be your people, and be warned you will not have everything in common, all the better though!
One final thought, when you find your people, no matter how frustrating or annoying they become, don't ever let them go. They are special, a treasure to hold tightly to for sure!
"Let love be genuine; hate what is evil; hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor." ~Romans 12;9-10