Today is the first day of school for students where I live. I know that technically it is still summer, but once school begins it feels like the page has been turned and summer has come and gone. This past summer I have celebrated both a birthday and an anniversary. I am currently 33 years old and have been married for 10 years.
Anyway, I thought I would reflect on a few things I have learned over the years. Here are 4 lessons I have learned and am learning.
1. What I thought I had figured out I didn’t and probably still don’t.- In some ways it seems like my education on life is moving backwards. I once had it all figured out, or so I thought. Then, as I I began to mature, I started to understand that maybe I don’t have it all figured out, just slightly more than those around me. This trend of realizing I know less and less has continued until eventually I reached the point where I am now, in awe of how little I know and overwhelmed by just how many things there are out there to know. I probably should not have started a list of things I have learned by proclaiming how little I know, but maybe this will serve as a disclaimer of some sort.
2. It keeps getting better.- I really think my life keeps getting better and better. Learning to persevere has been key. I have seen repeatedly that hard times have eventually yielded to things being even better than before the onset of the difficult times. This has held true in my marriage, my career, my ministry, and in my relationships in general.
3. life goes fast.- I feel like I am constantly aware of how quickly time passes. All of my life I have heard people warn of how fleeting time is. I never doubted them, but I also never understood just how right they were/are. I don’t know if most people think about this as much as I do, but sometimes I almost feel like life is moving so quickly that I am just sitting and watching it whirl by. My wife and I will sometimes say things like, “can you believe we have been married 10 years?” or, “can you believe we are parents and have 3 kids?” In a lot of ways I feel like I should still be in college or finishing up high-school or something. But nope, I am 33 and married with children. I am happy to be where I am, but shocked at how right the “it goes so fast” people have been.
4. People have a profound affect on people.- I think we constantly underestimate the impact we have on others and the impact they have on us. When I look back at my life it is amazing what a significant role relationships have played. Where I am and who I am is in a significant way, the result of who I have been around. I can think of numerous people whose influence on me has been monumental. These formative relationships aren’t limited to parents and mentor types. My life has been significantly impacted, even just recently, by people who I have had very limited contact with. It is a mistake to ignore how immense our effect on one another is.
So there you have it. 33 years of life and 10 years of marriage have taught me 4 things.