My First Entry As A Thirty-Year-Old Man

It is so time for me to be writing again. But this is my first new and original entry of the year. And, what’s more, it’s my first entry as a thirty-year-old man. What does one say after thirty years of living?

First, write. Just write. Live. I have been wanting my first blog entry of my thirties to be one of weight and worth. But it is much better to attempt expression and insight and create the possibility of sparking thought in others than to say nothing and risk a vain existence. Too often we are paralyzed by the pressure for greatness or the fear of failure. But even the great pyramids were built one brick at a time. Greatness is not the work of an instant. And failure has no more power than what we give it. It means nothing until it means everything.

Second, I live with my family. Some believe a man in his thirties should be independent. I believe that is a modern American farce. I believe no one should be independent. There is value in being on your own and becoming your own person. However, individuality at the expense of family is a mark of immaturity. Isolation—social, moral, emotional, spiritual, physical—shows lack of understanding. We must not live shallow lives of self-interest. No matter what we believe, our true personal successes cannot be measured by the events of our own lives but only by the character of our children and the next generation. This treasure of legacy has two sides. One side reveals that the character of our lives is what makes our parents’ lives—every effort and sacrifice—worthwhile. If we become foolish they become failures. The lives we live now we live in honor of the lives that have gone before us. The other side reveals that our success and character depends on the success and character of our children. We have done nothing in this world if not for posterity. We are interconnected with our human and our spiritual lineage. Our heritage is the foundation of our future.

Third, I can’t throw stones. I am currently wearing a shirt that depicts Grumpy from Disney’s Snow White and says “I’m right. You’re wrong. Any questions?” On one hand, this characterization fits me well. The truth is that if you get beyond the surface you will find a gentler genius. I know enough to know that there’s so much more to know. And what I do know so far I have scarcely mastered. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve repeated them, at times willfully, even defiantly. I know the iniquities of my heart, my history, and my propensity for sin. I know God’s long-suffering that has allowed my repentance, his love that constrains me to reconciliation and his grace that restores. Without his mercy I could but weep and wait for judgment. Yet, here I am being used by this wonderful, merciful Savior to call other sinners into saintly fellowship with Him too. So unworthy of this Wonderful Master am I. Faced with my own sin I find no more fitting refrain than…

Just as I am, without one plea,
But that thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come!


One thought on “My First Entry As A Thirty-Year-Old Man”

  1. Shawn, I am blessed to have such a meek mentor and a great friend. Even more we are blessed to have such a merciful savior. We fail, but He’s there to pick us up, and so we continue to follow Him, going toward Truth. Yeah, we all fail, but by the grace God we press on.


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