My Sixtieth Birthday

Today I turn sixty. A friend told me earlier in the week, “You don’t seem sixty.” I don’t feel sixty either, but does anybody, ever? Maybe when you turn seventy. It’s a weird experience. All my life I’ve thought of sixty as really, really old, and all of a sudden it’s what I am.

I don’t find it depressing, at all…. just odd.

Time itself is odd. What is it? Is it really measurable? (We measure the rate of processes, but is that the same as time? If so, why does waiting in line for five minutes take forever?)

What exactly is this stream of time that seems to carry me silently along without moving me an inch? What makes me different today from the me of yesterday? From that boy of 18 who told his graduating class that “The students of Bullard High School live under the iron hand of oppression?”

Not to get too philosophical, but turning 60 does remind me how little I understand of life—including my own life. But it also reminds me of how thankful I am for life. I don’t understand it, which underlines for me how little it is in my control. Life is a gift, and I think my greatest assignment, today and all days, is to be deeply grateful.

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8 Responses to “My Sixtieth Birthday”

  1. Brad Boydston Says:

    Congratulations! Even though you don’t know me you’ve spoken into my life many times through your writing. Your thoughts shared in Campus Life 35 years ago helped me make at least a few wise choices. Thank-you.

    • Ruth Says:

      I second the emotion–though for me, it was about 32 years ago. The quote that stayed with me was regarding sexual drive and Tim asking the Divine this question: “Why did you put a 747 engine in a VW Beetle?” It was nice as an adolescent to read that someone understood the struggle ; )

  2. Greg Says:

    Happy Birthday! Your questions regarding time reminded me of an article I read recently in a Caltech publication.
    http://eands.caltech.edu/articles/LXXIII1/2010_Winter_Carroll.pdf

    Maybe when you are waiting in line, you can’t tell if the line is actually moving forward or backward, until you take that entropy generating step closer to your destination.

  3. Fred Prudek Says:

    Happy Birthday, Tim. I do remember meeting you when you were 19 years old. It was one of the best relationships that I have ever made with someone. I am glad that we had some good years at Stanford to discuss dating, relationships with the opposite sex, etc., so that you could influence people like Brad Boydston. Brad has been another good friend for almost 25 years. Brad was pastoring an ECC church in Selah, WA while I was in Kennewick, WA. Small world! I will be interested to know what being 60 years old is like, since I turn 60 in a year.

  4. ninandungu Says:

    Happy Belated Birthday Tim! Hope you had a most enjoyable and blessed one. May the year ahead be blessed. Hope you remember me. This is Alice.

  5. Bill Reichert Says:

    Tim, I turn 60 in June. You and I were only 18 when we met as “neighbors” across the hall from one another at Cedro House–42 years ago! Now my kids are 29 and 26–and their 18th year seems long ago even for them.

    But if it’s any consolation, a 95-year old neighbor of mine was recently seen re-roofing his house. Look what we’ve got to look forward to! 😉

  6. Holly Newman Says:

    Hi Tim, Happy Birthday from me and Steve! We are both looking forward to 60 in July. It does seem old, but considering the alternative, I like 60.

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