Lately I’ve been thinking about the many life event anniversaries I am experiencing. There are so many of them that I am beginning to wonder if there’s a significance to them all happening at once. LOL
Photo by Pin Lim at forestphotography.com
For example, as of this august, I have lived in Houston for over half of my life time. I am fifty years old and I’ve lived here for twenty-six years now. For an army brat who spent almost his entire childhood moving from one base to the next, this is an odd feeling for me.
And the ironic thing is, of all the places I’ve lived and visited in my lifetime, Houston doesn’t rank very high on the places I ever wanted to live. Don’t get me wrong. I love the people here. I have made some very dear friends over the past twenty-six years. But that’s about all I like about Houston.
But we live where we can work. And Houston has been very, very kind to me in that sense.
Three Years at E. Lewis Ave.
This August also marks the three year anniversary of blogging on this website. I have been writing articles online for over fifteen years, but this site was started up only three years ago.
Ten Years of Ex-ness…
This Fall is also the ten year anniversary of the day my ex handed me a scribbled, unfinished note telling me she was leaving me. I had originally been dreading this anniversary, for obvious reasons. But a few days ago, I woke in the middle of the night and spent a lot of time thinking about a variety of things. It was then that I realized, once again, just how blessed I have been since she handed me that note.
That does NOT mean that I approve of what she did. Wrong is still wrong and will always be wrong. But the Bible clearly says, in several different verses, that God takes even the deeds of evil people (and no, I’m not suggesting my ex is evil) and makes them work to His advantage. So yes, it is possible that God can bless someone who has been divorced.
Nine Years of Bliss
It was nine years ago, on August 31st, that I sent Pearl that first private message. That was the beginning of the best, most bliss-filled years of my life. Without exaggerating, marrying Pearl was the best thing that ever happened to me.
I married a modern, competent, highly educated woman who is also a God fearing Christian and believes in traditional marriage roles. In that sense, I have the best of both in one very dedicated wife. Pearl is quite capable of being the leader of our family. She has a very competitive nature. She not only earned a doctorate in Physics but also taught physics at the university level for almost two decades. She is quite capable of “being her own woman” and all of that!
But she chooses to honor God by honoring me as the head of our home. And she does this fearlessly, unafraid of criticism she might receive from people in our society who believe living this way is wrong.
It’s her birthday today, and I have been thinking about her in this context all week. Before we were married, Pearl and I both shared a belief that a God centered, traditional marriage is greater than the sum of it’s parts. We both believed that a marriage that honors God is a thing of great, supernatural power, and as our marriage matures, I see the truth of that coming to light in our marriage.
And it is truly amazing to live this way. Truly amazing!!!
I am a capable man. She is a capable woman. Separately, we had both accomplished great things in our individual lives. But when you look at what we are doing, and more importantly, what is on the horizon for us, I see the proverbial heavens opening up in ways that most people will never see in their modern marriages. I’m not putting other people down. Not at all. But I’ve lived both ways, and I know from my own experiences what the difference is.
Forty Years of Music Making
This summer was also the fortieth anniversary of my music career. If you define the word “career” the way I do with my students, then it has nothing to do with your profession. I tell my students that each one of them has a career in trumpet playing that extends from the day the started playing the horn to the day they put it down for good. The time between those two events is their music career.
So according to that definition, I’ve been at it for forty years now. I started playing trumpet when I was ten. I’m fifty now.
Forty Years!!! That’s 80% of my life. I don’t know a life without music.
When I look back at that forty years, I see all the people who touched my life, all the places I’ve been, all the music I’ve played, and it’s almost unfathomable.
You know, I watched a video of one of my solos from 1993 the other day. It was a live big band concert at Miller Outdoor Theater. And when I listen to my playing on that video, it sounds almost foreign to me. I almost don’t even remember being able to play like that. I was on fire. There was so much energy, and rightly so because I was young back then. 31 years old. But I was thinking, “that’s not me anymore.” It’s true. Musically, I’m an old man now.
And I consider that to be an honor. I’ve paid my dues. I’m no longer at a place in my career where I need to impress anyone. So my musicianship reflects that.
I’m not suggesting that I’ve lost ALL of my fire. He he he… There’s still some of that in me. But that 31 year old version of me was ALL FIRE and nothing else. Now I save the fire for climatic effect (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it, he he he…).
So yes, it has been a wonderful career. I have lived the life that most trumpet players only dream of. It wasn’t all roses. And I know none of it would have been possible if not for God and his anointing in my life.
Should I Feel Old?
With these kinds of anniversaries, you might assume that I’m at the end of my run. I’ve lived my bit and it’s time for it to come to a close. But no one decides that except for God. He decides when it’s over for me. Until He takes me home, I will continue to love and learn.
The anniversaries are nothing more than milestones. I think it’s good to pause and reflect on where we’ve been so that we can see more clearly where we are going. I’ve had a good life so far. I’ve been blessed beyond what I deserve. Blessed with a remarkable career. Blessed with an amazing wife! Blessed with family and friends. So no, I don’t feel old.
I’m just getting started!