I looked at the Facebook
picture and then tried to match it to the mental picture I had of the last time
I’d seen Brad. Then it got worse. Besides being homeless, he’d just been killed
when he stepped out in front of a car on a darkened highway. A tragic ending to
what most would call a sad life. Only God knows Brad’s full story. As I rewound the decades, I saw
the pre-game excitement in late September. Like many rural towns across
America, football and Friday nights went together. Brad and his team were part
of a football dynasty. The fearsome athletes had a win-loss record reflecting
After high school Brad enlisted in the Coast Guard. From there his story has some gaps.
But I have an old memory from the
ski slopes of Crystal Mountain. When I came into the lodge to warm-up after a long
run, Brad and his younger brother Lyle were sitting there. We sat and
chatted about the best runs—they joked about who skied the fastest and who’d win
the race they’d soon have. My last sight of t…
Ah, birthdays, they are exciting for the first few decades, then their significance becomes a reminder of where we’re heading.
From the progressive changes in our annual school pictures to the photos where we wish our wrinkles
were less obvious, we're designed to age.
We’re also designed to gain wisdom.
We gained some wisdom the hard way—and would do things differently
if that were possible.
We learned that a good attitude helps.
We learned that compassion goes further than criticism.
We learned through seasons of sadness.
We learned through challenges—some we’ve won, others not.
Both brought wisdom.
We learned about patience—we needed it when we were younger; we need it even more as we grow older.