Birthday Thoughts “Lifted” from a Friend

I entered high school as not only a freshman, but completely new to the town and state. Didn’t know a soul. Signing up for speech class was the best thing I could have ever done — it threw me into a room of crazy, creative, dedicated, intelligent and wonderful personalities, with whom I’m blessed to still be in touch. David (“Pierre”) Waddell recently posted this reflection on his birthday and I’ve asked his permission to share. I know you all will enjoy his “flavor” of writing as much as I do!

Reflections of a Birthday by David Waddell
When I teach students about the administration and leadership of camping I am always quick to point out the spiritual nature of a campfire. There’s something to behold in watching sticks burn up and create these beautiful orange embers. Campers tend to do a lot of reflecting of their lives during these experiences.

As the 57 candles shot up into flames yesterday akin to the Texas A&M traditional bonfire I looked into the flames and did a bit of reflecting myself.

This birthday was unique in that the day (7) and the month (7) added up equaled the year (’14). The last time that happened was 6/6/12 and it will not happen again until 8/8/16. The day was also unique in that I was born in ’57 and on this day turned 57.

The number 57 always makes me think of the old Heinz commercials. They had 57 varieties of sauces and condiments and marketed them as such. So 57 has a lot to do with variety. We also know from an old adage that variety is the spice of life.

As I reflect on the passing of this 57th birthday I’d like to correlate how I’ve been blessed with several spices of life. I realize I am opening myself up to be called a “salty old dog.” I will have to live with the fact that many have already thought that before this was printed.

Sage Advice
In my years I have been blessed with many people that are wise beyond their years. I have, from time to time sought their wisdom. I have as well, from time to time, run away from them for I knew they were going to convey the truth and I didn’t really want to hear it at that point. I remember when I started attending the Orchard Oxford church. It struck me as funny that the Pastor is the same age as my oldest son. Then the thought hit me that all of my sons are already wiser than me so I could easily follow this man’s leadership. I’ve had the joy of being mentored by some of the best recreators, administrators, pastors, and supervisors. Sage advice is always nice to have in life.

Thyme is the Most Valuable Asset
I tell my camping class that if you really want to know someone better, go camping with them. In reality the best way to find out everything you can about a person is to spend time with them. Time is the feature in life that we all get the same amount of. It’s how I spend it that makes the difference in my integrity and my character. It’s the people I invest my time into that end up making the difference in my life and the lives of others. I have also learned in this birthday candle forest fire that time can be spent where one desires. I remember a statement once that went, “If you’re too busy to go fishing, you’re too busy.” I will give my time to the people, priorities, and places to which I wish to give my time. It’s too late for the past 57 years, but I can spend my time better beginning now.

Marjorams Have to be Set
Some call them boundaries and others call them margins. Part of the spice of life is knowing where you’ll go and how far you’ll go. Included in this should be limits on where we let others take us. Much of the trouble I’ve seen in my life comes from not setting good marjorams.

Rosemary Flavors Life
Rosemary flavors life as does Roxanne, Sharon, Laura, Kathy, Leesa, Linda, Lisa, Kandy, Janice, Lola, Cathy, Jennifer, Kim, Terrie, Jennifer, Pam, Pammy, Felicia, Kim, Sandra, Susan, Angela, Megan, and any girls I might have dated that I neglected to put on the list. Reflecting on life cannot be done without seeing the influence the fairer sex has played on me. From the sixth grade to this day each and every lady I’ve dated or been friends with has helped me become a better man and a better follower of Jesus. One of the ladies above took up 30 of the 57 years. The rest divided up the remainder of my free time.

Jerk Spice Leaves a Bad Taste
I’ve been advised in these past few years that the only way to win a lady’s heart is to be a little mean or show her my “jerk” side. Many don’t realize I tried that once in life and that’s why I’m divorced now. Why would people be something they are not (jerk) and hope that someone would love or admire them for a personality trait that is not real. The difficulty in being something one is not is that the other person learns to respect or love them for that which is not really in their makeup.

Curry One Another’s Burdens
I have had numerous people come and help me carry certain burdens in my 57 years. Friends and family have prayed me through school, seminary, marriage, divorce, constant difficulty with CMT, reconstructive surgery on left foot because of effects of CMT, two Atrial Fibrillation attacks, job searches, job changes, and job stress. The human race is designed to lean on each other and to help carry each other’s burdens.

The Good that is Cumin is not Cumin Fast Enough
I have noted a particular theme in the Bible. It’s called waiting. The Jews waited for a long time for a Messiah. Since the early church we wait for Jesus’ return to Earth. Abraham waited for a child. David waited to be King. Generally speaking, God does not get in a hurry. God does have plan and I hope I can be patient enough in waiting to see it when it is Cumin.

You Are the Salt of the World
When it comes to spices and seasoning nothing beats salt. It was so vital a part of everyday life that Jesus used it as an example of what His followers would be to the world. They would add the flavor in a way salt only can to make things come alive. They would be used as medicines to cure and heal in the same way salt was used to cleanse out an injury. They would serve to preserve those that need to know about Jesus but simply are not ready to trust just yet. Jesus knew we would be this valuable to His Kingdom.

So there you have it! Straight from the mouth of a “seasoned” veteran of life. Add some of the spices to your life. It’s amazing what the recipe for life can create with some sage, thyme, rosemary, and salt. Definitely don’t forget the salt.

Bon Appetit!!!


Author: jillswain

Former Mayor Chamber of Commerce Exec. Director Advertising consultant Mom and spouse (30 years and counting!) Rec league girls' volleyball coach Champion of all things Huntersville, North Carolina

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