Reflecting on this wonderful season of my vocational life. Here are some observations:
1) At 52, I get to see the harvest of seeds I have planted over the years. This harvest comes in many forms but it is all good.
2) At 52, I no longer have much a need to be known or recognized. However my desire to be relevant still burns brightly.
3) At 52, speaking engagements, airports and hotel rooms have lost most of their luster. These days I tend to write and post what is on my mind and it reaches much further than when I was on the speaking circuit….right from the comfort of my own home.
4) At 52, I don’t much feel like I have to impress anyone or prove anything. Believe me, it is an awesome feeling.
5) At 52, I think more about legacy than notoriety. I want to finish well, be respectable and respected and make memories with those who love me most and best.
6) At 52, I am appreciative of the hundreds of people who have invested in my life, stood with me in ministry and rallied around a mission of connecting people to Jesus Christ.
7) At 52, I don’t figure I am going to win any more awards and even if I do, they don’t mean as much as they used to. Most of the awards that have been bestowed upon me are now in a drawer…somewhere.
8) At 52, my youthful idealism has turned into an optimistic realism. I figure if the world were going to changed by my participation in legislative bodies and committees, it would have already happened. I still want to change the world but it will come by the Spirit of the Lord or it will not come at all.
9) At 52, I am no longer running for anything. There are no elections to win because I am not running. Been there done that. No at 52, I am not running at all. Just enjoying all with which God has blessed me.
10) At 52, I honestly feel like I am just getting started, just gaining traction, just taking ground. Whatever it is God has for me, I feel like the stage is set and the very best is yet to come.
In case you haven’t noticed, it’s not a bad gig serving Jesus when you are 52. Not a bad gig at all.
-Shane L. Bishop, a Distinguished Evangelist of the United Methodist Church is the Senior Pastor of Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois.