Two weeks ago I was driving the long, painful stretch from Banning to Indio, on my way back from Los Angeles to Phoenix. The route is littered with energy-generating windmills and billboards of coming performances at local casinos. One of them announced a Christmas season show with Carol Channing.
She’s 90! Wow! I’m so proud of her. I can’t imagine her doing a show starting after 6 pm. I’m 58 and if I had my way I’d be settling in by 7 or so each night. I just need the sun to go down and I’m ready to be lying down.
It occurred to me, as I sped my way past the sign on my way to my next stop at the “Flying A” gas station, west of Blythe, that I could conceivably be around here for awhile longer. 90 appears to be the new 63. Phyllis Diller is 94. So is my friend Earnest Borgnine. They are both more limber than me.
So, I found myself thinking, “If the cholesterol doesn’t hit me, what do I want my life to look like if I make it to 90?” And this list formed in my heart.
*I want to be wise and helpfully insightful, from having trusted my God with me.
*I want to be vulnerable-wide open and not closed off from others by regret, bitterness or fear.
*I want to be known as affirmingly kind to all I’m with.
*I want others to enjoy laughing at my ridiculous idiosyncrasies and limitations.
*I want to not fear leaving the party, but to enjoy each moment fully until He brings me Home.
*I want great-grandchildren to ask me what it feels like to enjoy Jesus in all seasons.
*I want to read stories at bedtime for those great-grandchildren in voices and accents that allow
them to learn to imagine and see scenes in their hearts.
*I want to be still known vitally and to be able to communicate my love.
*I want be able to remember the best moments He’s given me in this life and reflect upon them
when I am left outside the circle of the world around me.
*I want to still be funny.
*I want that destructive over-reaction from unresolved shame to have long ago vanished.
*I want to not give religious clichés or platitudes about when I was young.
*I want great music from all decades still in my heart.
*I want to eat any danged food I want. I want puddings, custards and pies at my beckon call.
*I want my bride right next to me, reminding me my pajama shirt doesn’t match my slippers.
*I want to protect her heart, build her up and convince her of my love better than I can now.
*I want to not be wheeled around into chain restaurants
*I want to still be asked to preach a message every now and then because I’m still wanted.
*I want to see my line’s generational mess eradicated in my children’s children’s children.
*I want to still be able to be moved to cry.
*I want to be safe for anyone to come to and tell what they’ve hidden, or what is hurting them.
*I want to have so tested out believing this identity in Christ to where I am living proof that this
limb indeed holds.
*I want to tell people about the heroes who risked teaching these truths in a season where sin
management, tough talking appeal to the flesh, and sanctified self-effort ruled the day.
*I want a golden retriever near me at all times.
*I want pictures of those I’ve known, and someone to tell me who they are, when I can no
*I want to have so trusted Him in me as to have lived out exactly the me God had in mind
when He put me on this earth at this exact time in history.
*I want at least one person standing at a lectern during my memorial service to choke up and
not be able to finish their thought.
*I want God to allow me to watch that memorial service. That would be cool.
I want this much out of my life…
John. One of the Three Amigos, part of the ever-growing tribe of grace