Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by virtuous living.  Proverbs 16:31

So, what would you like to have 50 of? Dollars, dinners out, loads of laundry done for you, prayers said for your intentions…oh wait…those are my wishes!  What would yours be?

Last Thursday was 50day for me…50 years of life. Holy Cow…50 years old…how did that happen?!

I remember when Mom was sick; one of the things she really wanted to do the summer before she died was throw a 50th birthday party for Dad.  It was an excellent day!  The yard was full of family and friends laughing, eating, pitching horseshoes, and enjoying life.  I remember my little brother and I talking about it on the patio where we stood watching and soaking it in and we discussed how OLD 50 was.  We agreed that Dad was so old he would probably “fart dust” (little brother’s words, not mine!)

Oh my, has time changed my perspective!  Honestly, my perspective began to change the first year I was a teacher.  There I was, fresh out of college and my first hour class asked how old I was.  Stupidly, I smiled and said, “How old do you think I am?”

HUGE mistake!  One sweet (or not so sweet) little 15-year-old said, “Oh, I’ll be nice, maybe 30 or so!”  Nice…Nice…how was that nice?  I was 23 and felt like I’d been kicked in the knees!

From that day forward, I have NEVER told a class of any grade level my age.  For a while I told my classes I was 112. That drove one determined little seven-year-old absolutely nuts one year.  She asked at least once a week for the correct number and reminded me how it was a sin to lie.  I just smiled and said, “I’m OLD honey…I’m OLD.”

I remember her telling the little boy next to her I could NOT be 112 because I didn’t have any grandbabies so I had to be in my 80s or 90s and not my hundreds.  Oh took all the composure I had not to laugh out loud!  That was of course the same year one of my students asked me if I was “there” the night Jesus was born!  I tell ya…education can be a tough gig sometimes!

Half a century is a pretty cool thing to witness. I’m blessed to have been a part of lots of great stuff in the past half century.   I hope this is the stage where the “wiser” part of “older and wiser” kicks in!

Upon hearing that I was turning the big 50 a lady I know mentioned that it was “better than the alternative”.  There was a time I would have completely agreed with her but I have to tell you my perspective on that has changed as well.

If we do discipleship right, the end is the prize not the punishment.  There are still gobs and gobs of things I’d like to see and do but meeting Jesus is one of them and if that happens at 70 or 112 or next week then I’m hoping I’ll see heaven. I figure that’s a goal not a consequence.

In honor of my 50th, I’ve started to make a list of my 50 greatest blessings and a list of 50 things I’d like to do for somebody else.  I’ll take a look behind and a look ahead as I begin this new decade.

I realized I’ve “wished” a lot of days away waiting for something bigger and better or funnier or happier or less stressful.  I suppose I’ve missed a lot in those moments.  I have a hunch those moments I wanted to skip contained some of His most powerful lessons and blessings. I’ll try really hard not to do that in my next half century.

I’ve decided there are some things I’m going to try not to say now that I’m 50.  Some of them are, “I’m so busy”, “I wish I had...”, “Oh I can’t” and “I’m too thin”…no, wait, I’d LOVE to say that!!!

I think I’ll trade worry for trust, procrastination for prayer and comparison for service.  I want to grow in humility and holiness while I shrink in selfishness and pursuit of worldly success.

Wow, I’ve got a lot to do! It’s a good thing I’m only 50—if I was old all this work might make me tired!

A Seed To Plant:  Even if it’s not your 50th birthday, go ahead and make a list of your blessings and some things you can do to serve others.

Blessings on your day!

Copyright 2014 Sheri Wohlfert