On this, my 35th, birthday, I think about other men I know who are his age and WINNING! Really winning, running churches, touching lives, striving toward a heaven on earth. And I remember the impact they had on my life when they were this age. Thank you most to Norman and Doug. As 30-somethings, you both reached out so effectively to me during my formative years. And there were so many other Godly men who directed my path and the paths of others in their 30s. I am not the man you all were at this age. And sometimes I worry I have failed you in some way.
But as I look back at the major steps we as a family have taken over the last 12 years, I have no doubt we have followed the path He lit for us. But the small decisions, the little steps, have left much to be desired - not being active in a church, not reaching out in real ways to the least of these, not looking for ways to give back to the next generation. (That is a weird realization. The teens of today are literally a generation removed from me.)
So my hope for my 36th year (it's a weird thing from Catherine's family) is that time we spend on the path will be productive time, time moving forward with each small step.
Thank you all for your abundance of well-wishes. It is a wonderful reminder of the way each of you impacted my life.