On David’s 60th birthday, his journal entry included 7 things he will do in the next 20 years based upon lessons learned in the previous 20. In this episode David and Donna talk about reflections on joyfully living, leading, and loving. 

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Turning 60 this week caused me to look back and to look forward. 20 years ago in April of 2000 I isolated in a cabin for 3 days of prayer and fasting to plan out the next 20 years of my life. Part of the plan was repeating the 3 days of prayer in isolation in April 2020. Little did I know that most of the world would be in isolation in April 2020. My life doesn’t much look like the dreams and strategies of that 40 year old, but the core foundation is intact and while I did not see thing happen as I envisioned them, the important things happened, just in a way different than I thought — but I wouldn’t change anything! (continue to read the rest of the article.)

“Pressing beyond the tough stuff and experiencing the joy of living, leading, and loving. because: Life is an adventure to be joyfully lived.” This is the byline for our podcast. We chose these words because we wanted to concisely describe what our podcast was about. The title is Calibrate Life because we have to keep calibrating, tweeking, directing and redirecting. We calibrate our lives much as we would calibrate a compass or a measuring instrument. 

Why is this our byline? Because we’ve struggled to do it. It is a reflection of a determination to fight through the tough stuff—the hard things that have to be navigated. It is a determination to live joyfully in circumstances that may not elicit joy. We’ve had to wage war against the proclivity toward depression. We’ve had to decide over and over again that life is good, life is an adventure, and it is to be joyfully lived. 

People who write and speak of overcoming adversity or of things important to them are contenders. Often they’ve figured part of it out, but they wage a daily war to live the life they promote. You’ve heard Shakespeare’s line in Hamlet, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” My oversimplified version is when someone is over the top with addressing a concern, that concern sometimes is something they themselves struggle with. 

We can say, we think we are doing a good job of pressing beyond the tough stuff and experiencing the joy of life, but it is a determined focus, and it will probably need to remain a determined focus. It is a decision, not something we fell into. 

Most days of my life I make a journal entry. On my 60th birthday I wrote a few things down I was committing to for the next 20 years based upon the previous 20. Donna and I discuss these 7 things in this podcast episode, but here is the short list.

  • Plan less / live right now
  • Strategies have to be directly connected to actions
  • Significance is only realized through the people you touch.
  • Decide what you believe, anchor, and stop searching. 
  • Character matters. If you sacrifice integrity and character for any reason, you lose. 
  • The way you live matters. Sin is destructive, holiness is beneficial, your life is not your own, you are part of a community and you have a responsibility to set an example in morality, holiness, and lifestyle. 
  • Out of love, give lots of grace. God set the example for us in grace giving and all of us need a lot of grace throughout our lives. 

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