Despite my best efforts to keep it from happening, despite the number of times I have said that I was turning 25 (which I guess I've done at least five times now. The plan was to stay 25 until I hit 80), the card that my grandmother sent me is alerting me to the fact that I'm turning thirty.
And I'm strangely ok with the fact. (Really strangely ok. I thought I was going to be ten shades of ill about the whole thing. I really planned to ignore my birthday.) But here's the truth: I know a lot more than I did when I was 25. I'm a lot more interesting that I was when I was 25. I'm a lot less in-over-my-head than I was at 25 (when I was engaged and finishing seminary.) Yeah, I have the gray hairs to show for it (which are well hidden, thankyouverymuch), and yeah, I'm a...uhem... few pounds heavier than I was then, but it's not a bad gig. I think I'm just now starting to turn into the person I've always wanted to be, which might be the best gift of all.
So maybe this year, I'll actually be thirty instead of turning twenty-five...again.
"Graceland" is the name of my favorite song and album. It's by Paul Simon, but more importantly, it's what "home" sounds and feels like to me. We always listened to this album as we traveled from my home in Tennessee to my parents' childhood homes in Florida. But today, it's also a pretty good snapshot of my theology. Somewhere I really believe that the Christian journey is all about a wild trip to Grace-land. As I see it, Grace-land is the place where God is waiting to meet even us–with all the baggage and brokeness that we tote with us. Grace-land is the place where we will be received with open arms, even though our attempts at “getting it right” have been miserable failures at best. But, I think, every step we take is a step on the journey to Graceland.