What I’ve learned in 38 years: All streams flow into the sea

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,

I’ll be 38 on Sunday. And while 38 is far from “old”, it’s another year closer. Or farther away from youth, depending on the mood I’m in and how tired my body feels that day.

I started this year by committing to a number of goals and guiding principles. I wanted to grow. To come to understand. Or at least to grip life and tame it. Which is different than understanding.

But as another year has passed, and life has unfolded’ its blissful unpredicatable mystery, I’ve discovered that I can’t control or understand it. It’s taken me 38 years to figure that out.

I can’t read motivational books. Or care about partisan politics. Or embrace all the wonders of technology.

Success is relative.

What I’ve learned this year is that I still appreciate the beauty of words; the way God has given some men the gift of shaping them into poetry. The way a book feels in my hands, it’s dry pages and the gentle cracking of it’s binding. A cold quiet morning on a trail through the woods, watching my hot breath rise like an exhausted spirit. Hillsides shadowing a valley as the sun rises. The clean simplicity of my bicycle. The way it feels to glide through the water on my first lap. The beach on a cool rainy day when I’m all alone with the sound. The warmth of my wife beside me in our bed. Her unconditional love and sacrafice. Morning coffee in the stillness of our home. The peace I feel when I hold my leather bible in  my lap at the start of each day. Real joy is helping someone, not proving yourself.

And each of you. Watching you sleep. The sounds of your laughter through the house. Our family of 5 together in our home.

This morning as another year draws closer to an end I read from Ecclesiastes and it seemed a perfect summary of what I learned in my 38th year:

All streams flow into the sea,
    yet the sea is never full.
To the place the streams come from,
    there they return again.  -Eccelesiastes 1:7

I love you,

– Daddy

TRAINING:

Mon: REST

Tues: Swam 1900 / Ran 5

Wed: REST

Thurs: Swam 1900

Fri: Bike 55 miles / Run 3 BRICK