49. Hoping for many more. Realizing that I've long since had more of these than I will have.
My future is secure & certain, for I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day. Still, age has a way of bringing to sharp focus what one does with one's life and how very brief it is at the end of the day. And like almost everyone, I could be consumed by regret for time misspent and not redeemed. But (to quote Paul again) "forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus" and rest in His glorious, marvelous, amazing grace. The regrets are there and are quite real. As the poet said, "only one life, 'twill soon be past; only what's done for Christ will last." But the regrets themselves are transformed by God's grace into prioritizers for the future. Basically, as others have said, there are 2 things God's going to take off this earth: His Word and His people. There, ladies & gents, is my focus, even as I strive to be a good professor of economics & finance. In fact, focusing on the Word and on people actually helps me very much in my study and in my teaching.
LORD, what I once had done with youthful might,
Had I been from the first true to the truth,
Grant me, now old, to do--with better sight,
And humbler heart, if not the brain of youth;
So wilt thou, in thy gentleness and ruth,
Lead back thy old soul, by the path of pain,
Round to his best--young eyes and heart and brain.