Solomon said something about there being no end to books. There is certainly some truth to that, especially as I anticipate the final module of my degree program which will take place in Pasadena in October.
The main emphasis of the course is how to balance the demands of "professional" church life while remaining fresh and connected to God in a real way - quite a challenge! I have already started reading, but much more is ahead. And I am looking forward to learning from those who have gone before, what they have done to face the challenge.
The amount of work is always a bit daunting, but this degree program has stretched me in ways I would never have anticipated. Well worth all the "blood, sweat and tears" - well, actually, none of it has been as hard as that ;-)
In my last blog entry, I spoke of my fear of how I might react before, during or after my daughter Anne's wedding to Adam on 20 July 2013 (you can read my thoughts more fully below).
You can read some details of the wedding by clicking the "Imports" page. The whole affair could not have been more perfect.
As for my small part and how I lived it, it could not have felt more natural and a great way to symbolically pass the baton for Anne's spiritual covering from myself to Adam. What a joy! I now look forward to this next stage in the life of our daughter, as we get to know Adam better and forge a modified relationship with the two of them "as one."
In a few short days (20 July), our second oldest daughter Anne will be married to Adam. For months, we have been making plans, talking through details, anticipating each aspect, and sharing in the joy and challenges of pulling off a major event to mark the official start of their new life together.
If I'm brutally honest, my biggest worry about Anne and Adam's wedding is something I hope will NOT happen. Above all, I don't want to become "the father of the bride." You know, the role that Steve Martin has played multiple times in those films that MaryAnn and the girls loved to watch over and again. For me, each viewing brought out an extremely mixed set of emotions - some laughter, some tears, some fear, some excitement. But the panic about how to avoid becoming Steve Martin's character in real life grew each time I saw the film or even heard the title.
The last thing I want to be remembered for is ruining any of my daughter's weddings. Up until now, I think I've done okay at not mentioning money at every turn, not questioning any decisions, and not imposing my vision of how the wedding should go on the bride and groom-to-be. But there are still two weeks to go. I'm praying I won't fall prey to the stereotype - but that I can occupy well my small role in the gala event: simply the bride's father.
But just in case, if you are coming to the wedding: do NOT point your videocamera my way. I don't want any of what might happen to be the forthcoming "Father of the Bride 4"!
Before I was a teenager, someone who was 50 years old seemed ancient. As a teen, I was downright scared of getting old. So, as I turned 50 last Saturday, I wondered how I would feel.
At the same time, many of the cards I received and people who wished me a "Happy Birthday" asked how I felt turning the big 5-0. To my own amazement - as well as theirs - I don't feel anything negative about turning a half-century. In fact, as strange as it may seem, it actually feels like something of an accomplishment. Not that I did anything to get to this milestone, besides avoiding some dangers that could have ended my life - and possibly driving safely.
But I guess it feels like I have lived enough life now to have my own opinions. Maybe I have gathered enough "life experience" data to make choices which are beginning to resemble wisdom. And perhaps, I am far enough along on the life journey to offer to others some perspective which could actually be worth something.
None of that means I have the "final word" on anything. But I feel like I've learnt some things worth passing along. It may never happen, but rather than mourning this significant mile-marker on the road of life - I am anticipating this next stage: adult children, sons-in-law, and (dare I say it) possibly grandkids not far behind. (That IS a weird thought.)
For today anyway, I'm not at all regretting turning 50 . . .