Wednesday, April 16, 2014
One Dollar in four silver parts. Each one of them carrying a different date. 1973. 1974. 1980. 1995.
While it would be easy to say every year in my life has been dynamic for various events that happened, some of those positive and some of those negative, these four quarters ended up in my pocket this morning and made me ponder the specific years they represented.
My parents were married in 1972 and I was born, their first child, in 1975. As the story goes, two years before I was born, my parents were sharing a time of devotions and prayer. At the exact moment during their prayer time, God spoke to them separately but with the same message: “You will have a son and you will name him Samuel.” While I was yet to be born in 1973, that was a defining moment in my life, not to mention what it must have meant to my parents.
I was born in the early days of August, which meant I was sharing Christmas with my parents in 1974 even if they didn’t know it. Christmas has always been one of my favorite holidays of the year, and I have to wonder if that’s because it was the first one I shared with my family. A bit corny maybe, but I instead choose to think of it as extraordinarily special.
I started school this year and carried a definite love-hate relationship with it throughout the next thirteen years. That December, I delivered to my parents the first of what would be many letters from teachers. It was a reprimand for behavior. A kindergarten friend and I had decided an early winter snowball fight made more sense than going inside to start the school day. While I don’t remember a punishment from my parents (even though I’m sure there was one), the one thing I do remember was the tinge of a smile in the corner of my Dad’s mouth as my Mom sternly reminded me of the importance of following the rules. It would not be the last time I saw that hint-of-a-smile in my Dad’s face when I did something others thought was wrong.
A blond women left my life, followed by a brunette, only to make way for a redhead to come into it. As I look back on that year, there were so many massive life-decisions being made and the magnitude of them mostly lost on a kid about to turn twenty years old. It does no good to sit around re-hashing decisions we all made at that crucial age, but it does make you nod in agreement at the famous George Bernard Shaw phrase, “Youth is wasted on the young.” As I look back, that might have been one of the most significant years of my entire life.