Tuesday, 24 April 2012

I turn 40 today. What a fluke, I have to blog on my 40th birthday! I'm settling into my new town of Redcliffe, things are travelling very well in my new church. I'm very much in love with my wife and kids, and I've even got back into the routine of writing, having recorded twenty, 1 minute 'at the top' spots for Brisbane radio 96.5 last week.

But 40! Isn't this the age when you are suppose to reflect on your life and have a mid-life crisis! All the things I haven't done! The realisation that perhaps life wasn't about what I thought it was. Maybe that doesn't start until tomorrow, but I don't want to trade my wife in for a younger model [she is still the younger model in my eyes! Va-va-voom!] My kids are getting more and more interesting as my daughter hits high school and is becoming so grown up, and my son can finally play sports at nearing my level!

I think about my life and I am truly blessed. I have achieved even more than I thought I would. Things I never dreamt about, like being a writer. A published writer! [and I did remedial spelling lessons at school]. My voice and thoughts are on radio. I write for sight magazine [online]. I have over 10 published books to my name and two DVD's. I even have a jigsaw puzzle and an activity book with stickers!  WOW!  I'm not trying to boast, I'm praising God! Who would have thought.

I'm also happy in my work, indeed passionate about it. It's nice when people are saying, 'that was your best sermon yet!' after a Sunday message. Don't get me wrong, my life isn't perfect, and I don't get everything my way - but I can't help but be astonished at the hand of God in so many things, even the hard things.

It contrasts what I heard in the media this month. A new survey reports the thing the current generation want to grow up to be the most - is not a fireman, or policewoman. It's not even an environmental scientist to save the world - it was this - to be famous. Famous.

Famous for what? Does it matter? Indeed isn't that why some young girls will take off their clothes and put the footage on Mybay? Just to be famous, or more correctly - to be noticed. Wow, we live in a world full of people with a growing need to be noticed. Desperate. I have to ask myself, is that why I write?

If I'm honest, I see that side of myself. I too desperately want to be noticed. It is a basic human need. 'Am I valuable?'  But there is another side of my writing. I write because I have something to say. There is something bursting within me that cries to be told, that is desperate top be shared. What is that?  It is this, I have met the Great Noticer, and it is in him, that all our need to be noticed can be found.

My family value me, that is good. My wife notices me, that is wonderful. Even some of my colleges and the general public know who I am, that is nice. But it is only because the Great Noticer knows my name, that I know I am valuable. He stretches out his hands and says, 'this is how valuable you are.' Because of that, I can live safe within his arms forever.

Fame. Famous. To steal a line from Cool Runnings. 'If you aren't enough without it, you won't be enough with it.'

So as I contemplate 40, I'm so glad I've noticed the Great Noticer, and I can see that my life is not wasted, and my writing is not in vain.


  1. Happy 40th birthday, Paul! Life's only beginning for you. And I love your concept that God is the 'Great Noticer'--fantastic! God bless.

  2. Happy 40th Birthday and great encouraging post.

  3. Happy birthday—and a very thought-provoking post. From my POV, you'd have to be right that the desire to be noticed is at least part of my motivation, even if I wasn't consciously aware of it until now (so thanks for pointing it out :P).

    Methinks that the desire to be noticed (and, by extension, famous) will further increase as the population expands, making us ever smaller cogs in an ever larger machine.

    And are you sure that your son is now able to play sports at your level—or is it that you are now only able to play them at his? ;)

  4. The Great Noticer. I love that. And our desire should be to introduce the Great Noticer to those desperate to be noticed. Great post.

    I have a friend who told me he cried on his fortieth, because he'd wasted so much of his life. I'm with you though, Paul. I've followed the Lord and followed my dreams, achieved more than I thought possible. No regrets. Only praise to a God who is able to take us on a journey beyond the limitations we set for ourselves. :)

  5. Happy birthday and great post, Paul!

  6. It seems to me that many who find fame are not happy people. Only what we do for the Lord will last - and bring us joy.
    Thank you, and Happy Birthday, Paul.

  7. Oh to be 40 again. Happy birthday Paul. That is a very significant number in the Bible, of which I'm sure you are aware. I stand in awe of our Lord who takes people from every experience and handicap and releases new life, new creative ability and new directions beyond what seemed possible in growing up years. We are all glad that the Lord noticed us, dealt with those things which made us not notice Him and then joined us in our journey of discovery which will lead us to see Him face to face.

    Thanks for your post.

  8. Happy Birthday Paul! No need for a crisis.. unless God allows one for His good purposes. On my 40th God pinned me down onto the writing path, good and proper. What a journey so far! Bring on more crises like that, I say. :)

  9. Happy Birthday.
    That's a great reminder about God being 'the great noticer'.

  10. Happy 40th Birthday Paul! 40 is a great age. Take it from one who has passed it many years ago! :) And life only gets better!

    I too loved the concept of 'The Great Noticer'. This was yesterdays reading in my daily calendar.
    "God numbers the hair on your head.
    He counts the cares in your heart.
    He knows you
    He notices you.
    And He loves what He sees."

    So thanks Paul. It sounds like God is saying something to me - that's twice in 2 days He's told me the same thing. He notices me. Wow! What an incredible God!

    Sounds like you have a great life and much to be thankful for. Great innings and the very best for the next 40!