If you’re a long-time resident of our area, you’ll easily recall the creative Boston Store advertising….vertical mile markers posted throughout the county letting you know how far you were from their store in downtown Erie. They were a neat little part of the commercial Americana in our area.
Each one of us has mile markers in our own lives that are highly significant and deeply personal. These mile markers serve a number of purposes for us, and we do well to recognize and celebrate their place in our hearts.
For example, this month my oldest son was the best man in a friend's wedding. It was a mile marker for me (and for him!) as I witnessed my boy participating in the celebration of his buddy's marriage. The very same day, my youngest son served as a pallbearer in the funeral for his best friend’s brother. I helped my 17-year-old young man to understand that this was a place of high honor, and that he was an important part of their family as they grieved the loss of their son and brother.
A best man and a pall bearer in the same day…a day of significance for very different reasons for two members of my family.
Seven months ago I became a grandparent for the first time…a mile-marker of great joy. Next year my youngest children (twins) will graduate high school and enter a new realm of their lives. Two mile-markers - of empty-nesting for Sue and me....and a door on the journey toward adult independence for them.
I turned 55 today. Not a major birthday (like 50 or 65), but a mile marker nonetheless, and a time to reflect on my life to this point while assessing how God would want me to use my remaining years.
I guess that’s the underlying point of mile markers…reflection. Celebrating the event in and of itself, and then at a deeper level asking God afresh to be a part of what is to come. As a grandfather, asking the Lord to help me be a godly influence in the life of Lucas and the grandkids that will follow. As an empty-nester asking how He can use my time, talents, and gifts in the next stage of life. I pray that a long as Lord allows me to live, I will always have the desire to get up each day looking forward to how He will enable me to make some kind of difference during those next 24 hours.
May we each use the mile-markers of our lives to allow God to speak into our hearts and minds with His love, wisdom, encouragement, and direction...all the while bringing us joy in the journey.