“The most completely lost of all days is that in which one has not laughed.” Nicolas Chamfort
Birthdays with a Zero in them are fine times for reflection. February 11, 2017, I turned 70.
I’ve enjoyed hundreds, thousands of moments that have taken my breath away. I’ve fallen in love and married. We’ve celebrated 44 anniversaries. I’ve watched the birth of two daughters. I baptized both of them.
I’ve been blessed to participate in the spiritual growth of many folks. I’ve helped alcoholics get sober. I’ve seen people whose lives were pure chaos find order, salvation and peace. I’ve watched rigid, self-righteous people discover grace. More importantly, I discovered grace for myself and for others.
In Mauritania, I got stuck in the Sahara Desert in a four-wheel drive vehicle. That might have taken my breath away but I found a small tent village and took a nap. You must have priorities!
I’ve watched Clemson win two National Championships in football. Exhilarating!
It’s a rush to hold a book you wrote that’s been published. I’ve had that privilege four times.
I survived two serious car wrecks, one with a fully loaded logging truck.
Sally and I were on a transatlantic flight when one of the plane’s engines blew. We heard it. No doubt about what had happened. Potentially breathtaking experience. Literally. When we landed, two dozen emergency vehicles followed our plane down the runway.
My two best friends died. Soul-crushing experiences. Even at their memorial services, we found ways to laugh.
I’ve listened to Ella Fitzgerald in concert. Magnificent.
I’ve seen Greg Maddux pitch. Incredible.
In Kenya, I’ve seen elephants, lions, giraffes, zebras, and ostriches in their natural habitat. Wow!
On Folly Beach, South Carolina, I watched loggerhead turtles bursting from their brittle eggshells and clawing their way across the sandy beach into the Atlantic Ocean. Awe-inspiring.
With my grandson, Lake, we peered over the edge of the Grand Canyon, then rafted on the Colorado River.
With my daughter, Julie, we watched whales and caught lobsters off the coast of Massachusetts. Incredible.
With my daughter, Jenna, my grandson Lake, and my wife Sally, we climbed to the top of Machu Picchu. Then, we hiked in the Amazon Rain Forest. Mindboggling experiences.
Two pieces of advice I got from Jerry and Jane Howington when I was a teenager: “Keep on keeping on” and “Hang in there.”
“I’m so excited. I’m about to lose control and I think I like it.” The Pointer Sisters