Sonnet to Sixty

Sonnet to Sixty
A Decade in Review

By Larry d. Wright

In 1997 I wrote an article entitled “Ode to Fifty” with the subtitle, “My Life in 500 words or less” which covered my life from birth to age 50. I guess that it is fitting that a decade later I write the follow-up which I have chosen to entitle, Sonnet to Sixty.

Hiked my first section on the Appalachian Trail, several more followed; daughter #3 left for college taking me to a new stage in life: they call me an “Empty Nester,” which is just a cute expression because they keep coming back. My wife got a cat. A new millennium began and Y2K didn’t introduce Armageddon as some prophets predicted but with two kids in college and one in law school, I failed to notice. In the words of “Guns N’ Roses”…“Welcome to the Jungle.” I had to constantly ask myself, “Are we having fun yet?”

The first year of the new century delivered a mixture of great pleasure and immense pain. I celebrated 30 years of an awesome and wonderful marriage with the person who is the best thing that ever happened to me next to Jesus. But the first year of the new millennium ended with horrific hurt. A brother in Christ, a Barnabas in the ministry and my best friend ended his battle with ALS and “stepped across a threshold into a spacious place, one he had only seen by faith, and his One Day Closer gave way to reality.” I whispered my last words in his ear “See you soon.” My written tribute to him said it all; “…But mostly for the companionship, the comradeship… truly, it’s a man thing. I am sharper because of you, friend.” (Proverbs 27:17) Still miss him!

Daughter #2 graduated from college; daughter #1 graduated from Law School; daughter #3 graduated from college. Hallelujah! I believe I can see the Promised Land! Short reprieve, then daughters #2, then #1 married in the same year, within 6 months of one another! Daughter #3 married 2 years later. Now the nest is really empty so we have a new nursery, a second den and lower utilities.

Buried another faithful four-legged friend in my back yard, which makes three (Pepper, Bama, Lou). My first grandson was born, reason for the nursery, and I discover the meaning of “grand” for the first time.

In 2007 I Celebrated 42 years in the ministry and 33 years as a pastor. I experienced my 30th trip to Kansas to hunt pheasants; my 3rd trip to Guatemala and my 1st trip to Africa to help save a nation. The vision for tomorrow is changing, so must I. God’s recent Word to me: “Don’t give up on revival. It will happen but look for something totally new. Don’t give up on the church. It will change but I am the same. So keep your eyes on Me.”