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It’s All Downhill from Here – And Not In a Bad Way

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This age of forty-four, for some reason, seems significant to me. I think I finally realize what it means to be “over the hill.” And it’s not a bad thing. You have to get to the top of the hill before you can go over it, and the view from the top of the hill ain’t shabby. Forty-four feels like the top of the hill to me.

Of course, no one knows when they’re going to die. It could be tomorrow, it could be fifty years from now. Whichever way, it’s going to happen – that’s for sure. But it seems to me that forty-four is a pretty good age to stop for a minute and look around. Look back, look forward, and get your bearings.

When you’re climbing the hill, all of your focus is on getting to the top, striving, working hard, figuring out which route to take, acquiring stuff you think you’ll need. Sometimes your attention gets drawn to helping someone up, sometimes to passing someone by, sometimes to pushing someone out of the way. Occasionally you might stop to take a breather on a sunny plateau. But most days all you can see is the hill in front of you. All you can think about is the climb.

This feeling of being at the top, though. Wow.

Looking back, I realize that in all the striving and working hard, I’ve missed some good stuff. In all the figuring out which way to go, I’ve made some pretty bad decisions – wrong turns that could have been avoided if I’d allowed God to show me the way. (Still, going the wrong way for a while can be a powerful incentive to learn to consult The Map, can’t it?) And I’ve found that a lot of the stuff I’d acquired, or thought I so desperately needed, was just extra weight holding me back. I see a lot of things I’ve done wrong and a lot of pain I’ve caused. But I also see the progress I’ve made, and it’s pretty substantial. 

Looking forward, I realize the view is much better “over the hill.” As long as I keep my head up, I can see a lot more of the road ahead; as long as I keep my ears and heart open, the better I’ll be able to hear His voice and know which paths to take. Going down the hill, there’s a lot less striving and a lot more peace. And it’s going to go by a lot faster.

Here’s to enjoying the ride!

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