33 / by KR


Diga 33!
Originally uploaded by jampa.
“I’d be dead by 33. That was my best guess. But, hey, here I am this morning, singing ‘happy birthday to me’ as I clean up all this mess, cause I’m left still alive without warning. “ – D. Wilcox

A song I heard years ago, and in the past few weeks has come to have more meaning than I ever would have imagined. When I was in my teens, the idea of being in my thirties seemed like some kind of distant impossibility. I recall talking with friends when I was 16 about how none of us figured we would be alive by our 30s. (Probably because we were living during the height of the nuclear crisis of the Cold War)

Well, the USSR fell apart, and I didn’t get drafted into the first Gulf War, and here I am today having just turned 33.

It’s a long story that I will not bore you with but turning 33 seems to matter in the script of my life. For the past few months I have been getting a series of questions from God that go something like, “You are turning 33, a point significant to the men of your family, what choices are you going to make?” And the options on the table have something to do with choosing to live out of glory or out of compromising that glory. Like all the hosts of heaven and hell are watching to see what I will choose, because they know the results are epic, even if I don’t. Will I choose to become the dream God had when he Dreamed me? Or will I “fall back in line,” become what the world tells me, and relatively fade to black?

The consequences are bigger than I can grasp.

Never would I have imagined that the choices one makes as a person, to be the very person they were created to be, or not, have such a dire impact on others he may not have met yet. If I am not me, the me God had in mind when He dreamed me up, then not just now but down the road someone might not become who they were meant to be – or at least they will have one hell of a tougher go of it.

Something has become more evident, more to the point than I have ever know it to be. It has sunk to a deep level of my understanding than it previously occupied. It is this. If you aren’t you, then we can’t be we. Now put into a family it becomes, if dad is not dad, (or mom is not mom) if he is not who he was made to be, then his sons and daughters have a much tougher go of it to become who they were meant to be.

If a man does not become the man God had in mind, then he can’t become the father God had in mind; and if he is not the father God had in mind,., then how will his children ever learn what it means to become whole? And the beauty of it is this has nothing to do with his children becoming like him. It has everything to do with his children becoming wholly like the people they are meant to be, free and fully in their own skin.

Maybe this is what is meant by legacy.

So, in a very real sense I am alive this morning, singing happy birthday to me, cleaning up the messes I inherited, and then ones I made. And laughing at the choreography of it all.

Wilcox’s song finishes with: “In the big boring middle of his long book of life, after he passed 32, if you don’t die in glory at the age of Christ, then your story is still coming true.”

It is still coming true…