May 5th was my wife and I’s 28th wedding anniversary and we went to one of my favorite parks to spend the weekend together. I usually wake up very early, while it is still dark outside, and I spend some time in solitude before my wife gets up. Dawn is my favorite time of the day and it is even more special when I can spend the time on a majestic overlook.
This morning, I was driving to a spot that I really liked and I heard a song on the radio that instantly struck me. It was a newer country song by a young artist named Thomas Rhett whom I’ve never heard of. The was called “Life Changes” and it was a very appropriate song for a 28th wedding anniversary.
Now I’m not a real big fan of the newer country music. I just prefer the older stuff without all the fancy accompaniment, but it has usually been the lyrics that has attracts me anyway, and when I heard the chorus I fell in love with the song.
Ain’t it funny how life changes
You wake up, ain’t nothing the same and life changes
You can’t stop it, just hop on the train, and
You never know what’s gonna happen
You make your plans and you hear God laughing
Life changes, and I wouldn’t change it for the world, the world, oh no
And I wouldn’t change it for the world, the world, oh no
I really liked the words, “You never know what’s gonna happen; you make your plans and you hear God laughing.” Yep, that is so true! he illustrated the chorus with three verses:
Waking up in my college dorm
Yeah, my life, it was pretty normal
Looking for a date to the spring formal
Wasn’t worried ’bout nothing else
Majoring in undecided
Notebook full of bad songs I was writing
Never dreamed anyone else would like them
Now they’re sitting on a Walmart shelf
I bought a ring and she said “I do”
But everybody else said, “man, you’re twenty-two
“Whatcha trying to prove?”
“Hey why don’t you wait?”
‘Cause I’ve been waiting on her since the second grade yeah
And now she got her own set of fans
She got a blue check mark by her Instagram
And I wrote a little song about holding her hand and now everybody wanna die happy now
I remember the day I told my Daddy and Mama you’re gonna have a grandkid, yep
From Uganda, that’s right, we’re adopting
And she is the cutest little girl that you’ve ever seen
Well I was wrapping my head around being a dad
A bigger ranch got thrown in the plans we thought we’d had
Now Lauren’ showing, got one on the way
Yeah that’s two under two, hey, what can I say?
Now what really struck me about this song is how real to life it seemed. These verses were personal like he was writing about personal experiences. As I shared the song with my wife we started researching, and sure enough, he is not just writing about life, he is writing about his life. I love songs like that.
Well, Thomas Rhett, you just gained a fan. I does my heart good to hear such a young man writing about life changes. I guess younger people adjust to changes a whole lot better than older people who tend to resist change as if it is something from Satan. Yet, everything in God’s creation changes. We don’t always like the changes, but they change nonetheless.
I’ve been coming to this park for years. We started when we were young and our children were just babies. I used to carry my kids up the hills with one on my back and the other in my arms. To think of the changes we have been through over the years. Many dreams have been shattered, and other have taken their place. Friends and loved ones have died and even now are in the midst of dying. We’ve moved a lot. I have traveled the country and seen so many places, but it wasn’t how I thought it would go in my younger years, but it still happened.
I’ve made lots of mistakes and have many regrets, but I also feel like I’ve done some good along the way too. In so many ways, my wife and I have had a rocky marriage. Our differences at times seemed seemed too vast for any sense of unity, yet there is unity. The marriage has held together. Our children have grown. It has never gone like I envisioned it, but it has gone good enough. Our marriage has often times been rocky and full of turmoil and confusion, but the anchor held.
Now we have a grandchild and another one due in a couple months. Watching our granddaughter is like water our daughter growing up all over again. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think of that little girl.
Friday night as my wife and I were heading to the park there was a bad accident that caused us to go way out of our way. We knew it was bad, but we didn’t know until last night’s news that a little girl had run out in front of a semi and was killed in the process. My granddaughter loves to run, and in the process she has almost been hit as well. I don’t know how I would handle such a drastic change. My heart goes out to that family, and the driver who hit her too. It was a tragic accident and life for everyone involved will never be the same. I ache as I think about it.
Life does’t go like we expect. If we are lucky, it may go fairly well, but for many of us we search for the nuggets of meaning and happiness in the midst of the chaos. Either way, life is a wonderful experience with all it’s sadness and joy, death and birth, old and new. It all seems to fit together like a majestic piece of art created by God himself.