How do you measure the passage of time, the character of a man?
By the amount of gray hair? By the size of your clothes. By the houses you’ve lived in? By the tractors parked in your driveway? By the money you make, or the friends you have, or the work you do?
I wonder where he thought he’d be at 35, back when he was 15, and 25.
Did he imagine he’d be raising these 3 children, this precious daughter and these rough and tumble sons?
Did he envision building this home for his family?
Did he know that he would start from scratch and end up with these blooming flower beds, these miles of fencing, these barns and sheds and buildings were once there was nothing but rows of cotton and rotting wood and broken glass?
Did he imagine that he would work all day at his job and come home only to work all night and all weekend? That he would spend his “free time” building chicken pens and trimming sheep hooves and hauling hay and tilling gardens and fixing, endlessly fixing, things?
Young people wait to move out because money is tight–rarely do you hear of a new college grad working 2 or 3 jobs while living in a crummy apartment…now they just move back with mom and dad to save their money. Young people wait to get married and have a family–they want to have fun, live a little, enjoy themselves for a while before taking on that responsibility, that commitment. If they ever do at all!
Young people want to stay young, stay selfish, stay self-centered and focused on entertaining themselves–and the world encourages them, giving excuse after excuse…
The difference is not measured by age, or income, or influence.
Only by character.
As I see in those I know best.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, philosopher and poet (1803-1882)
Happy Birthday Mr. Fix-It!