I recently celebrated a significant day in my life…my 50th birthday. Now many people celebrate this day surrounded by friends and families all bearing “over the hill” cards and gag gifts, black balloons and streamers. It has become the realization that one has reached the pinacle of your life’s achievement and now begins the slow decent into retirement.
Like I said, on this day of celebration, I chose to mark it as a day of decision. It was to become a day beginning, a fork in the road that I had been standing and contemplating for far too long.
You see, I look at each of us as a box of crayons. God gave us each multiple colors that we are to utilize to color our worlds with our lives. Some people are blessed with the 8 pack, some with the 16 pack and some people got the 64 pack with the built in sharpener in the box. But each of us have been gifted by God with unique skills, talents , abilities and desires that have been placed within our hearts. It is by unlocking and utilizing these gifts that our world is uniquely colored.
You see, for more than half of my life, I’ve been using one maybe two of my colors. My choice of study in college was made haphazardly and through sheer will and determination I managed to graduate with a degree in the field of my choice. Then I followed it up with 30 years of varying degrees of the same type of work. While I managed to be promoted through the ranks, the view from the top of my ladder was nothing like I expected or actually wanted. I had achieved, but I was not fullfilled. I had created a career by default…not by design.
So again, on this special day…I have climbed down the ladder. I am picking up all of my colors. Ironically, many still have the sharpened tips that remind me not that I have failed to use them…but excite me because of the untapped potential that they are now making themselves available to me. I also am reminded of the one or two colors that are mere knubs. They have been worn down and over used. The paper barely remains on one of the knubs. I respect them for their gifts of bringing me to this moment in my life and providing for me a small nest egg to which I may begin…again.
So yes, my 50th birthday was just that. A celebration of a “new birth”. A new day that will allow me finally begin to use many if not all of my colors. I’m excited about the painting that my life will bring to this world and at this point, I don’t know exactly what that will look like…but I can promise one thing…it’s going to be colorful!