Is anything more annoying than a young person complaining about age? I promise to control myself.
Growing up, I read a lot of Bill James, the bearded baseball wizard who revitalized baseball in the 80s and 90s through his unique statistical approach. One of the nuggets of information he uncovered was that baseball players tend to peak at age 27.
Statistics gradually improve from 18 to 24, until somewhere between 25 and 29 (often 27), a player will have his best season, his career year. From then on, skills and stats regress. This is good to know: a team that understands this general trend of player performance should be less likely to overpay someone about to enter the twilight of his career.
Now obviously this analysis is rather specific to sports, dependent as they are on strength and quickness. In most (though not all) fields, years, even decades, of experience are an asset.
But remember, at the time, I was a 12-year-old ninth grader, averse to aging and used to being the youngest person in the room. So 27 — distant 27 — became internalized for me as the peak year, on the back end of a series of numerical waystations:
16 — graduate from high school
18 — gain right to vote
20 — graduate from college
27 — reach my apex
35 — gain Presidential eligibility
100 — die, preferably after eating pizza
Before 27, you see, I could not be old — even when it seemed unimaginably far-off — because age 27 was when baseball players were at their best. But now, today, the very minute this article went up, I turned 28. So let the long slide into obsolescence begin. Or, perhaps more correctly, continue.
In defending the celebration of Christmas, Samuel Johnson pointed out that “there is danger that what may be done on any day, will be neglected.” Birthdays are a peculiarly perfect time to consider the events of a year, of a life. And since what I do at work all day is confidential, most of what I can show you from the last two years of my life is right here.
Now I don’t think I peaked in much of anything at 27, with the likely exception of Wii tennis. And I know from experience that I will look back at this year and rue my foolishness and error, think of all the things that should have turned out differently. But I also know that for the rest of my life, I will think fondly of these last two years for the experience we have shared here.
It has been a profound honor and an actual privilege to serve among this entertaining and talented group of writers, and to be read by such a kind and discerning audience. Thank you all. I certainly have not loved every minute of it, but I have loved most. And trust me, that’s worth a lot.
And so we will say goodbye this weekend, after two years, 89 clashes, 76 Bible discussions, 70-some Councils, about 60 Chick tracts, countless articles, jokes, and quotes, and — above all — immense and honest gratitude for any time you have spent with us. Everything here will remain, but for the foreseeable future, nothing new will be added. For a while, I’ll be satisfied re-reading it.
I don’t know what will come next, but I’m sure that — before too long — you’ll be able to hear from me again. Of course that assumes that you want to! If you were here for David, or Job, or Connie, or Chloe, or Josh, or Djere, or Kaitlin, or Tom, or Mike, or MCB, or Erin, I don’t blame you! Honestly, I was too.
But yes, I’ll be around, somewhere.
After all, I’ve got another 72 years before I finish that pizza.
The Last Ten Featured Pieces
- 28 by Steve
- Fortune and Judgment by David
- Three Links (Vol. 18) by Steve
- Music by Bweinh! — How Great by Djere
- How Should We Then Live? — Part Two by David
- The Shack by Connie
- Bweinh! Goes to the Movies — Doubt by Steve
- How Should We Then Live? by David
- Best of Job: Snow on Snow by Job Tate
- George the Criminal by David
This week, Bweinh.com discusses the last two chapters of Ephesians, in our final Bible discussion!
As the Church took root in places like Ephesus, I’m sure many of the early Fathers must have desired — at times — for a return to the laws of the old covenant. Immorality of all kinds must have seemed so incongruous with the recent teachings of Christ, yet perhaps ran relatively rampant. Paul had to remind the early believers of their greater moral heritage without stealing any of Liberty’s thunder.
SOMETHING YOU’D NEVER NOTICED BEFORE:
Paul urges the Ephesians to specifically pray for him — of all people — for boldness in preaching the Gospel. He didn’t take anything for granted, even after years of faithful witness under persecution.
STORY IT REMINDS YOU OF:
A pastor once came out of a rather difficult marriage counseling session and said to me, “Well, at least they saved two other marriages.”
Ephesians 6:1 (“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right”) was memorized by Mrs. Wright\’s kindergarten class one year at our Christian school. But one boy recited it: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for Mrs. Wright.”
WHERE IS JESUS IN THIS PASSAGE:
The living Example for children, parents, husbands, wives, servants, and masters.
DEEP THEOLOGICAL MEANING:
The imagery of darkness and light is so important because darkness is not more powerful than light — it is merely the absence of light. Where the light shines, there can be no darkness.
And darkness cannot keep a light from being seen. In fact, where it is darkest, a single light shines quite distinctly.
PORTION YOU’D MOST LIKE EXPLAINED IN HEAVEN:
God knew the struggles different nations would go through with the issue of slavery. I wonder why there isn’t some sort of Scripture that more strongly addresses the notion of all men being created equally. Or if I just haven’t found it yet.
LESSON TO TAKE AWAY:
Our love for Christ must be active. We should strive to give our best to Him, just as He did for us in His death. Love is dynamic.
We were once darkness (not just IN darkness), but now we are LIGHT. As Henry Blackaby wrote in his daily devotional for February 21, “If the world is becoming darker, the problem is not with the darkness. The problem is with the light. When God\’s light is allowed to shine unhindered through your life, the darkness around you will be dispelled.”
We need to live as children of Light, for Light shines in the darkness.
Battle of the Bands LXXXIV
Winning the Acts band name finals is Havoc! Moving on in Ephesians is Clamor.
Below is the final matchup from Ephesians!
One Hundred Words (48)
As a child in the country, I slept with the radio on, preferring to mask the barks and howls and creaks of the Great Unknown with the comforting patter of overnight disc jockeys.
But now I have learned I have more to fear within than without, and I find I cannot dream of sleeping to a soundtrack other than that which surrounds me.
The ticking wall clock signifies the constant march of time, as outside, the slams and yells and windy moans testify of existence, shared yet separate. Sirens wail. And I experience life again before leaving it, ever so briefly.
One Hundred Words (47)
There’s a difference between good conversation that involves humorous banter — or even deep spiritual truths — and oneupsmanship.
They’re about as similar as volleyball and that game that erupts at birthday parties when someone bats a balloon across the room and another person bats it back. In one, the point is to keep things going and involve everyone in the room (even the killjoy who shouts, “You’re going to break something!”). In the other, the goal is to hit some unreturnable shot to score a point.
In conversation, as in the party game, no one is impressed by the person who spikes the balloon.
The Council’s Ruling — Worst Year
At various times, the Bweinh!tributors, having convened in secret for hours of reasoned debate and consideration, will issue a brief and binding ruling on an issue of great societal import.
This week’s question — Who has had the worst 2009 thus far?
Djere delivers the ruling of the Council, joined by Steve and David:
Whether he knows it or not, Blagojevich. Enough already, pal. Enough lying, enough bribery, enough hair. And hopefully, it’s just going to get worse for him.
Daily FeatureQuote of the Day, 2/25/09
“The day which we fear as our last is but the birthday of eternity.” — Seneca
Quote of the Day, 2/23/09
“I believe that appreciation is a holy thing, that when we look for what’s best in the person we happen to be with at the moment, we’re doing what God does; so in appreciating our neighbor, we’re participating in something truly sacred.” — F. Rogers
February’s Chick Answer
If you picked any of these answers you’re a winner!!
Yes or no, turkey?!
Â©1984-2008 Chick Publications, Inc. Reprinted without permission as fair use (parody).
Best of Bweinh! — The Pope v. Billy Graham
Mike (backing the Pope): “You can mess with a guy named Billy. You cannot mess with a Ratzinger. You wind up trashed, excommunicated…or worse. The man’s first papal encyclical was entitled Deus Caritas Est — ‘God is love.’ Notably absent was any statement of Benedict’s own feelings. The obvious message: God is love, and Benedict ain’t. The man is a flat-out papal bull.”
Job (on Billy Graham’s side): “The very notion that Pope Benedict could somehow best Billy Graham is so ludicrous I almost asked to be recused. No chance in heaven! . . . Graham’s a natural fighter; whether Nixon or Parkinson’s, he handles his problems personally with sleeves rolled up and pride rolled down.”
Best of Bweinh! — Married/Single Clash
Tom (happily single): “Marriage lets a man grow beyond the boundaries he places on his social life. Many single men prefer the company of a particular group of friends, spending the majority of social time with them, coming to know them well. Once a man is married, these constraints are taken from him, and he can come to full social fruition. New friends he would not have chosen! New activities he does not enjoy! An entire new family with whom to spend holidays, reunions, excruciatingly boring conversations, and arguments!”
Djere (pleasantly married): “Being single has its advantages. Gas mileage, for example. With only one person in the car, you’ll use less gas, you know, when you drive places… alone. And you’ll never have to worry about another person changing your radio stations. In fact, you never have to be exposed to any tastes other than your own! Gosh, that does sound pretty good… cruising down the highway of life — alone — listening to the same old songs on the radio…”