"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Birthday reflections

  I sit here on my birthday… calm and peaceful in my home with Christmas music playing and thinking back over “things.” Mostly, what have I accomplished in my sixty-plus years that has made a difference somewhere. On the television are actors and actresses, musicians, the little 12-year old guy who just played piano at Carnegie Hall, even Whoopie, and I feel like I haven’t contributed a whole lot. I mean, I’m just an ordinary, average guy who lives in the great City of McDonough and loves being here, but will folks remember me in years to come.

  But, then I begin to reflect on the years I grew up in East Atlanta. The world then was so much simpler. All our neighborhood kids played in the yards until after dark and didn’t have to worry about creepy, evil people bothering or taking us. We just came and went from each other’s houses, because our doors were rarely locked. Hours spent playing “Red Rover,” “Hide and Seek,” “Rock School,” “Swing Statue,” and so many more. I ran away from home once, but my mom knew I wouldn’t go any further than the corner house, so she just called them and told them to send me home. And, I went home. I began piano lessons, never knowing how much of an impact this would have on my life in years to come. We walked to school and walked home kicking rocks and talking about our teachers and the dreaded multiplication tables. And, life was good. And, I was happy. And some of us are still friends after all this time.

  Then, I think about moving away to a more rural home and area. New school, new friends, new neighbors. I was in seventh grade and it was a traumatic thing. Why did my parents hate me so much to do this to me? Me? But, before too long, I had new friends, was old enough to join Boy Scouts where I was accepted readily, and joined the high school band. The life of a band nerd was not quite so cool in the 1960’s as it is today. Fortunately, our marching and symphonic bands were fantastic, and the school loved our programs.

  College days were the best years. Friendships were made that I have and cherish to this day. Adventures were had that (almost maybe) bordered on the illegal, and definitely on the dangerous, but we all survived with all our appendages and some great memories we still look back upon and laugh. A lot. And my life was still good.

  Careers and jobs followed for the next 40 years and I was most fortunate to spend 30 of them working as an Assistant Comptroller for the Georgia State University Foundation, Inc. and then as an Administrative Librarian for the five University Libraries. I loved those jobs and discovered more and more about my capabilities for expecting quality and integrity from myself and those who worked for me.

  Now, I’m retired from everything and spend time at home helping my mom around the house and going on our morning walks. And life is good. And better. But, the most important thing in all these years is the relationship I’ve had with God. Even though the above sounds all rosy and fun, there have been some very down times that I would not have survived without knowing God was by my side. That He was helping me through the struggles and battles I faced and I knew I could come out the other side even stronger with His help. And with His help alone, because I didn’t have the strength or power to take on the things of the world that were crushing me. Two of the churches I have been a part of leading me toward ministry; Woodland Hills Church in East Atlanta and Bouldercrest Baptist Church (where I currently am attending. Great and active churches, still selflessly serving the Lord and community with God providing what is needed.

  So, trust God, live your life for God, share Him with others, and when you come to later years, you can look back like me and know that, overall, Life. Is. Good.

  And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.


Post a Comment

<< Home