50 is just a number, right? Right?!

Hi. Wow…it has been a minute. And for no good reason other than, I guess, life happens? Driving kids to and from school, practices, appointments. Actually driving myself to and from the church office again (well, once in a while anyway). Working on bulletins and pastoral care visits and bible studies. Spending time with my mom. My wife and I trying to have a social life again. But the more honest truth is I just didn’t prioritize time for this blog — even though I have built in content every time I preach. Even though I still have a bunch of documents and links open and saved to do so. Even though every time I hit “Publish” I am always glad I did.

To say nothing of the way my very blog title mocks my inaction. “If you leave everything unsaid, you must have nothing to say. If you have nothing to say, what good are you?!?”

Then in a bitterly funny twist, even this post became a microcosm of my relationship with this here blog. I turned 50 years old on Sunday. I’m still a pastor and Sundays are still my main work day, so, yeah, I can believe I had to go to work on my birthday. (I still love that Gaffigan bit though.) The congregation was super sweet in singing to me, offering a cake reception, and gifting me a very thoughtful present.

photo credit Troy Smith. Thanks Troy!

But I told myself there were two things I really wanted to do with my birthday afternoon: go for a run and publish a blog post. I live in Illinois. It is chilly or even cold this time of year. That is to be expected. But Sunday it was sunny and 54 degrees. That’s nice out. Now, due to my own impatience and stupidity (a story for another time), I tweaked my knee a few months ago and it is just recently feeling ok to run on again. In other words, I had something to prove.

“50 years old and a slightly bum knee? Screw you, old man body! I’m going for a run!”

So I did. Just over three miles in 33 minutes. Yep, super slow. Much more of a jog than a run. I wore my knee sleeve. I walked for minute or so after each mile. But I did it, dammit. My longest run jog (not on our elliptical machine) since I hurt myself in June. I felt good. I felt accomplished. My knee felt…mostly ok. But not bad! Check that off the list! Birthday Mission half-accomplished. Now time to write; let’s go! [rubs hands together expectantly]

The universe had other plans.

I managed to eke out a whole seven words. A work situation required a timely response. My family wanted to take me out for dinner. I wanted to go out for dinner. We enjoyed a tasty meal and a good time. No complaints at all. Upon returning home however, I convinced myself it was too late and I was too tired to be creative enough to complete the one. other. item. on my 50th Birthday To Do List.


Monday was more of the same: family, life, work demanded my fealty and, in truth, I was happy to give it. I’m a lucky, lucky human. Similar responsibilities and interruptions abounded today and here it is late Tuesday afternoon and I’m still trying to make one. simple. post. happen. This isn’t quite the post I expected, but so be it. We live in the world as it is, even as we strive to bring about the better world we envision, amiright?

I have no idea if anyone is left to care about this little space o’ mine. It would be totally reasonable to have given up on it. Regardless, here’s my pledge: I’m back! I will post regularly again. ‘Bout what? Who knows! All the things!

“You said that last time.”
I mean it this time!
“You meant it last time.”

30 years later and I still love to quote that scene. It is just so often so applicable! While the movie may have been (ahem) trash, it makes me laugh.

Do months old sermons retain any value? In the days and weeks ahead, I guess we’ll find out. We did a good series on difficult saying of Jesus we called “Jesus Said What?!” I recently did a mini-series on the book of Job. Both of those at least are worth sharing.

But my next post must be about my favorite current project, one that was at least three years in the making. I’m having a blast and I want to share it with you. More on that very, very soon.

If you are still here, thank you.

4 thoughts on “50 is just a number, right? Right?!

  1. Hi Dave. Much congratulations of making 50. I had just moved to the US a few months before my 50th birthday – and first met you just a few weeks earlier than that.

    The five years I spent in the community near you, worshiping with you with you were wonderful. My whole 10+ years in the US were wonderful.

    By now you’ll just be starting to make those little noises when you stand up (ooffff). But they will get bigger over time. You are doing well in the “belly” department. your shirt looks like it fits well, and you look trim and terrific. But it’s harder work from here on.

    Family is and always has been important to me. As it is to you. But don’t be afraid to take a big adventure either – the kids are getting older and will move away one day. – as you say you are just beginning to get a social life back.

    As Proverbs 16:31 tells us “gray hair is a crown of glory”. But I can add Hair is much over rated anyway. So let me remind you of with the comfort you get from Isiah 46:4

    Even to your old age and gray hairs
    I am he, I am he who will sustain you.
    I have made you and I will carry you;
    I will sustain you and I will rescue you.

    The universe ALWAYS has other plans. But don’t stop planning anyway.

    I am now safely (and permanently) back in ‘straya and with family. Lucky enough to witness my daughters much delayed wedding.

    Keep running. Keep everything running.

    Much love to all


    1. Hi Richard. Thanks for the kind words. I still enjoy working out but I can tell my belly is slower to respond to that work. ooff, indeed!
      I know this is selfish of me to say, but hearing that you are now “permanently” back in Australia makes me a little sad. I liked living in a world where you showing up again here in the Chicago ‘burbs was a possibility. Your congeniality, wit, and music (and witty music!) were highlights of those years for me.
      Of course I’m really happy for you that you get to be with your family again — and were there for the wedding. That’s super important.
      Much love to you, my friend!

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