I still haven’t caught up on all of the text messages, facebook posts and messages, voicemails, and cards. I haven’t had time to think about turning 40. I know that it’s a big deal for a lot of people, but I just haven’t thought about it yet. What I have thought about is how lucky I am.
Last night I got to play the music that, honestly, I stumbled into writing. For years before, I always wanted to record some music. I had written several songs and even tried to record them, but it just never worked out. One night about five years ago, I was in the shower thinking, which is where a lot of my better thoughts are born. At the time, I had a close friend who lived in Nashville who was playing for several different people around town. Somewhere mid-lather, rinse, repeat I thought, “I need to call him and just see if he has any connections. You never know, what if he knows someone.” I gave him a call one night and explained my shower thoughts to which he replied, “As a matter of fact, I’m at someone’s house right now that I think would be a perfect fit for you. Let me see if he’s interested.” I drove up two days later and started a relationship with my friend Sean that has now produced over 40 recorded songs.
Music for me has been an outlet and an escape. A place to create and listen, write and reflect. And maybe that’s what art is for everyone, for me it has been redemptive. Without the time spent sitting with each emotion, trying to put onto the page what I think that I’m feeling, I’m not sure that I would ever recognize the process. The process of grief, and love, and therapy, and aging, and living, and raising kids.
So, last night I was surrounded by my entire family, by so many in my church family, teenagers and now adults that have been a part of our ministry and lives for years. And each one of them there to exchange their unbelievably above average love for my average songs. And that’s really been my life. What I have to offer has always been met with exponentially more in return. Not that I don’t love well, I do, but I am loved back in a way that overwhelms me.
If 40 is the top of the hill then I suppose I’m supposed to see the past and the future with the best perspective. But I just don’t. The past is clear, filled with love and grace and life and meaning. Not a season without a meaningful moment. The future on the other hand is pretty foggy. It doesn’t seem to get clear until it’s in my rearview and only when I give myself the time to think about it. Which is what this space has been for me. Each of you, part of my journey of reflection- making sense out of life. I don’t know what my next 40 years hold, I don’t even know what my next year holds. But I do know that these past 40 years are drowned in goodness. And from up here, the view is brilliant.