Traveling this week in Korea. Sitting in Incheon airport on our way back home. We were able to bring the whole family to Seoul to see my youngest brother get married. His wife is a Korean national, but they met in Ankara, Turkey where they were both teaching. They’ve since moved to Seoul, but no word yet on what their long-term plans are together. I can say that she and my brother appear to be very happy together and a good fit. She’s very kind and gentle, much like my brother. I’m really excited to see him this happy and sharing his life with someone special. Hannah comes from a relatively small family; she has one older brother who is already married and has a young toddler. I come from a family of 4. And now we have 7 of our own.
This has been a good week for me — a healthy reminder of all the blessings in my life. As much as I rant and complain about the growing black hand of government intrusiveness in the United States, it is my home, and I’m proud to be an American. As I grow older, the simpler things in life are the most important. I’m neck deep in my middle life (I won’t call it a crisis). Our children are all out of diapers. Our oldest daughter is a stone’s throw away from starting to drive and eventually thinking of college. I’m at a good mid-point in my career. Chronic illnesses that once threatened my long-term health have been reversed, and I’m in the best physical shape I’ve been in probably 20 years.
Back in TX, we have a huge home, more than one car, all the groceries, appliances, medicines, toys and products that we could possibly need to keep us warmed, filled, healthy and comfortable. I have a wife that makes everything beautiful in my life. She is everything that I’m lacking, understanding where I’m impatient, thoughtful where I’m clueless. Our children, as much as they can drive us crazy at any given moment, still manage to get compliments for their behavior and manners even while overseas.
Then I also look around and see young people, both stateside and here in Seoul, chasing after things that once preoccupied my time, money and energy. The latest styles of clothing, music, entertainment, all-night parties, heavy drinking, and chasing after women are so far behind me that I can’t imagine living that life again. It makes me wonder what men my age or older are thinking when they divorce or are still living that youthful ignorance.
For the unbeliever, life can be a series of struggles, a never-ending pursuit of happiness that never materializes. Chasing after titles, power, influence, wealth and physical relationships are mirages in the desert. For the Christian, these things are put in the proper priority of life. Everyone needs shelter, relationships, and physical comforts. Isn’t it reassuring to know that our Father in Heaven knows what we need and provides them freely?
We’re left with what matters most. The assurance of our salvation, of His complete and final atonement of our sins, gives us the freedom and context to consider the secondary and tertiary matters in life.
In short, I’m reminded again of the verse that headlines my blog — Galatians 5:13. “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”