I am only 27 years old, but I feel like I am much older in life experiences. Some who read this may laugh at that statement because I am only 27 years old. How much can you really learn in only 27 years? In those few years I have been healthy, I have been sick, I have faced my own death, dealt with the death of someone close to me (thankfully only one), lost friends, gained others, pushed people away, and pulled some close, been in places and done things that I am not proud of, as well as things that made me proud of myself. Within all of that, I had to grow up pretty fast.
I am in no way building myself up to have gone through more than the next person. We all deal with our own troubles and heartaches that come our way. I know there are people out there who could make my life sound like a walk in the park. Nonetheless, this is my blog and I feel like I have something to say.
I am a Christian. I am not perfect. Anyone who has spent a lot of time around me, or maybe just a little, will know that I am far from perfect. My goal each day is to live a life that I will be proud of when I am old. I try to live a life so that the people around me will be proud to call me their friend.
Some people may look at my life as boring. I do not drink, nor do I smoke. I try my best to hold my tongue. I teach Sunday School and a Bible study at my small, country church. My faith is the most important things in my life. To people on the outside looking at my life, I probably have very little to offer. People may wonder, "How can that life be fun or exciting?" or "There is no way I could handle being with someone who lives that type of life."
As for me, I enjoy my life. Ask any of my friends and they will tell you that I can go to a concert and have fun and act like an idiot with the best of them. I can go to a bar and hang out with friends or enjoy a Braves game in Atlanta. My life is as exciting and as fun as the next person's life.
I have been blessed with a second chance at life. By the generosity of someone else, I have been given the opportunity to live my life to the fullest. I truly enjoy each minute that I have with those that I love. I may get upset from time to time and not show it. I am human. Things bother me; things get to me. I open my mouth when I should keep it closed. I have to make choices about my life and there are times that I should let others make choices about theirs without my input. I just hate to see people that I love poison themselves with things that bring short-lived happiness.
I do not drink or smoke because I am scared of what might happen to me. I am a walking miracle. I do not want to have to go through the hell of a liver disease again for a few hours of fun. I have fun at a concert because I can hear and enjoy the music that God has given me a second chance to hear. I can dance because He has given me the strength to get out of bed. I can sing because he has given me a voice to use. I am constantly thanking God for the opportunities that He has given me in my life. I thank God for the people he has given me to share these moments of happiness.
There are times when people think that I am judging them because I am concerned about them. I know what a liver disease feels like. I have seen people battle lung cancer and emphysema first hand. I have lost one and almost lost another on different occasions to those terrible conditions. It breaks my heart to see the people that I love and care about putting things in their body that lead to disease and pain. I have witnessed the pain that alcoholism and addiction brought to my loved ones. I am in no way judging others for the things that they do; because with very little searching, you could find plenty to return the favor.
I have lost friends and people that I care about to this issue. There are times that I have asked myself, "Is it worth it to even mention this?" Each time I say, "Yes!" My fear is that people will walk away from this post and say, "Josh is judging me because I drink." I hope that by reading this those I love will see that I have no problem with a glass of wine with dinner or before bed. I have no problem with a couple of beers at a concert or other social gathering. I fear for those that I love because I have seen others destroy their lives with excess.
As for me, I have been given a second chance at life and I do not want to use this chance to destroy the gift that has been given to me. I enjoy my life and I feel that I have plenty to offer anyone who wants to be my friend. I love recklessly, and will do anything for a friend in need. None of us are really that different. Just as Collin Raye said in one song,
I laugh, I love, I hope, I try
I hurt, I need, I fear, I cry
And I know you do the same things, too
So we're really not that different, me and you
I love the people around me more than I could ever show them. I hope that my loved ones do not let silly things keep them from being around me and having the fun that we are meant to have together. Do not view my life as boring, I enjoy my life and I love my life.