UPDATE: I’ve added two updates near the bottom.
If you listen to the Democrats, we are all broke and the country in going to hell in a handbasket. If you listen to the Republicans, the Democrats will make the country broke and bankrupt us morally. It looks like either way, if you listen to them, we are screwed.
So I started thinking today about whether my life is really as bad as everyone tells me it is. I have job security, a loving wife and two beautiful little kids. A mortgage that isn’t going to default, a belief in God that isn’t going to fail and a marriage that isn’t on the rocks.
But then I started to think, I spent a lot of time in the car today, about all of things I have been able to do in my 35 years. We all have a list of things we want to do before we die. But when was the last time you made a list of things you were able to do if you died tomorrow.
So, here is some of my list:
I’ve watched the sun set in Key West and the sun rise in Paris
I’ve prayed at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem and been to the Sea of Galilee when a storm was brewing
I’ve been to Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida in the same week
I’ve been scuba diving on a Dutch Freighter at night in Aruba and in a cavern in Florida
I’ve been to the top of the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Canyon
I’ve been to Chicago, L.A., Miami, New York, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Boston, St Louis, Dallas, Phoenix, Minneapolis, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, D.C., San Diego, Baltimore, Las Vegas and hundreds of other smaller cities.
I’ve led worship in the Dominican Republic, Panama, Belize and Israel
I’ve spoken to groups in 4 countries
I was there when both of my boys were born
I’ve driven a bus in the Dominican, a Jeep in Aruba, and a tiny little car through the desert in Israel
I’ve ridden horses on the beach and through the woods
I’ve taken a canal boat tour through Amsterdam and Paris
I’ve been to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Louvre in Paris
I’ve flown a plane solo (Cessna 172)
I’ve volunteered after a hurricane and served food at a homeless shelter
I’ve ridden a hundred miles on a bicycle in 6 hours
I’ve seen a big manta ray come up out of the sand, a 125 ft down in the Atlantic
I’ve caught a billfish, a wahoo, a tarpon, a cobia, a shark, and a dolphin in the Fla keys
I’ve been lobster diving
I saw an alligator jump out of the water and eat a baby deer
I’ve been hunting in the Everglades
I shot a 300 lb boar and had it mounted
I’ve been on the beach at dusk with my wife and little guys
I’ve been on a 16 hour car ride with an infant
I’ve been out of the country 14 times
I’ve been to Baseball Games at Yankee Stadium and in Baltimore, St Louis, Anaheim, Cleveland and Atlanta
I went to a professional wrestling match
I’ve spent a week in Vegas, twice, and only lost $5.50
I’ve been in an elevator with Drew Bledsoe and watched Mark Harmon film a T.V. episode
I’ve been the dumb hick who was lost their first time in New York
I’ve been the first to walk through the sheep field at Central Park after a hard snow (Heidi was there too)
I’ve jumped off a small cliff into the Pacific Ocean to save my wife and a student (God ended up saving them, I didn’t)
I’ve been to the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame
I’ve sailed in a boat race in February
I met Mickey Mantle and got his autograph (1987)
I stood outside and watched, from Naples, Florida, as the Challenger exploded in ’86
I and my wife have taken our 3 year old to Peru
I survived a 5 hour layover in Peru with my wife and 3 year old
I’ve played guitar in front of 800 people and for an audience of One
I’ve had the joy of doing a lot of these things with the love of my life
I’ve been used by God to minister to people through words and music
I’ve been humbled after seeing God use me to minister to people through words and music
I’ve made lots of friends and very few enemies
I’ve been given a wonderful family, both immediate and in-laws
I’ve seen a friend become a Missionary to the World
I am currently watching my 2 year play with our dog
I am looking forward to the next 35 years.
I have been blessed beyond anything I deserve. I encourage anyone who reads this list to make one of their own. Look back and count the blessings.
I was at the ’82 National Championship Game in Miami. Clemson beat Nebraska
I was at the 1987 Miami-South Carolina game in Miami when that famous fight broke out
I was pulled over by the police in Israel and let go because I couldn’t understand them. (I think I ran a red light)
I’ve seen my 3 year give out food and drinks to kids in a poverty stricken area of Peru
I’ve watched as he played and colored with other kids in a country where everyone looked and talked differently (on a 3 year old, that can be hard)
I was given a bracelet by a border patrol agent who works the Panamanian/Colombian Border in the Darian Jungle. We were in Panama at a church service and I prayed that God would protect him and family.
I’ve been down Rodeo drive and Park Avenue
I’ve ridden on the subway in New York, Montreal, London and Paris
I’ve been on trains in the US, Amsterdam, London, Paris and Versailles
I’ve been passed, going up a steep hill, by a tour bus on our way to Mosada in the Negev
I’ve woken up to 6 inches of snow while hiking in the Pisgah National Forest
I’ve gotten lost, with my dog, while hiking in the Pisgah National Forest and had to lower that poor girl down a waterfall (only about 12-15 ‘) with a rope.
UPDATE (2): August 2011:
I’ve watched as my little shorty (1 and 1/2 year old girl) grows up before my eyes and becomes prettier each day
I’m watching my boys become more and more independent and more like me and their mother
I’ve preached to groups of men in prisons in Mexico and Panama
I rode on a motorcycle with a Jungle doctor through the streets of Managua, Nicaragua
I’ve assisted a medical team (as a fledgling interpreter) in Nicaragua
I’ve led worship in Spanish in 6 countries (including the U.S.)