I turned forty recently. I don’t feel any different and apart from the increase of a few white hairs making their way into my stubble I’m told I don’t look the part either. Yet it seems the responsibility of the masses to remind me that my life is now half over. Thus was the position I found myself in as I sat across from a friend over coffee on this most recent birthday morning.
“What do you want to do that you haven’t done with the first half of your life?” he asked.
I was at a loss. In my youth I was all about what I could do for God. It was a drive born of zeal and facilitated in judgment. I had accomplished many things. Yet for all I had accomplished I had left a trail of wounded and broken souls in my wake. Some I had broken. Others I had found in such a state and simply passed them by leaving them to sink. Worse still, others I had drowned with the waves and weight of my self-righteous judgments. Regardless, over the past three years I had become haunted by the shipwrecks.
As I reflected upon the inquiry I vocalized a truth that I had long been harboring. I wasn’t really interested in “doing” anything. I wanted to “be” something.
“I want to be a man of grace” I replied.
Two days later I was walking the streets of Little Italy in San Diego. As I traversed the crowd the Holy Spirit began testifying of the truth that every person was a vessel meant to carry the Spirit of God. Sadly most of these vessels were adrift, lost at sea. Some were sinking beneath the waves. Yet for all, this truth remained; only the grace of God can save.
As this somber reality invaded my conscience I passed by a lonely store front. In another life it had been a showroom for seafaring vessels. Atop its faded brick exterior was affixed a testament of hope.
“A rising tide lifts all boats”
If a rising tide lifts all boats, may grace ever be the tide.