Are Ya Feeling Lucky Punk
Are Ya Feeling Lucky Punk?
As many of you know, Friday was my 67th birthday. That morning my older brother — who is really, really old, having recently turned seventy — texted me with a “happy birthday old man” message to which I replied, “ ‘Old’ being the operative word.” He came back with an observation that we were both incredibly lucky to have made it this far. That got me thinking about my luck. As a kid, I always assumed I’d never live to see 20. Then, I began revising my estimation upwards in ten-year increments until I hit fifty and figured the rest was a bonus. Little did I realize, it was all a bonus.
As an avid poker player, I’m no believer in luck, so, “No Mr. Callahan, sir, I’m not feeling lucky.” Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, is cause-and-effect.
However, if I did happen to believe in luck, I’d have to consider myself one of the luckiest people on the face of the Earth. Here’s why: I was born in the middle of the Twentieth Century…in the most upwardly mobile society in the history of mankind…to loving parents…who had honed their parenting skills (translated: made all their mistakes) on four older siblings…in a middle-class family (neither the worries of the poor or the over-indulgences of the rich)…in the heart of one of the greatest states in this amazing country.
And that was just the beginning. I grew up with a host of good friends (some of whom, I still know today)…in a middle-class neighborhood where guns were for killing coke bottles and soup cans, not people (Sidenote: I bought my first .22 rifle when I was twelve years old and routinely spent my allowance on .22 ammunition at the local Gibson’s Discount with nary an question)…and although we didn’t have air conditioning in our homes, we had bicycles to cruise the surrounding landscape…and creeks to explore…and public pools to swim in…and good schools to go to…and doors that didn’t have to be locked every night. My hometown was a really good place to grow up.
In my teenage years, I enjoyed my fair share of rebellion but, like I said, my parents were old pros by then and barely raised an eyebrow. I drank beer, enjoyed other recreational substances, drove like a fool and did every stupid thing a teenager does. After all, I wasn’t counting on exceeding the two-decade mark at that point. Somehow, I’m still here.
I got a great education back when American public schools were at the top of the chart. Then, through the financial help of my parents and several accommodating part-time employers, I survived a five-year incarceration at the University of Texas in Austin, graduating without student loan debt. And in the process, I moved my expectations up to the thirty-year mark.
During my U.T. tribulations, I got seriously lucky. I met, dated, failed to repel, and married the woman of my dreams. She’s stubborn as Hell and still hanging in after 43+ years. I have three great kids, two hilarious grandkids, a bucket-load of patient and intelligent friends and some fantastic clients. So, yeah, I guess I’d have to admit that life, if not luck, has shined exceedingly favorably on me.
How’s your luck holding out? Let’s talk about it over coffee and if there’s anything I can do to improve your “luck”, I will. I’d even be willing to share with you “why” I have a greater reason than favorable circumstances to be happy about life. You know where the Reply button is.
“Indeed, none but the Deity can tell what is good luck and what is bad before the returns are all in.”
― Mark Twain
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Surprised by Hope
I don’t recommend a lot of books on theology because that’s not the primary goal of this newsletter. That said, this is a book worth recommending. It came to me via a friend with years of hands-on practice, applying theology to the thorny issues of everyday life. Give it a shot and then, let’s meet for coffee because this isn’t just a book to be read. It’s a book to be discussed.