I55

Today, I am 55 years old. Even my granddaughter Katelynn here is shocked. IMG_2309

I can honestly ask: How in the world did that happen? Only yesterday I was 22 and dating a hot young lady named Maria…

But happen it did. And so despite the mystery of calendar pages flipping by in blurring speed, I have arrived at this ripe old age in good health and good mind. Some may debate the latter but I am mature enough now to simply smile and nod, and stick my tongue out at them.

Yes, I have been blessed and continue to be blessed.

IMG_2389I have a wonderful wife, Maria; perhaps better known to you, dear reader, as the Bos Lady. Not only has she kept me sane over the years (a feat in itself), she has been my anchor, my best friend, my soul mate, and my laugh-track even when my quips and puns have carried little humour or ill. Oh, and she’s still hot. (I can just hear her now: “Why did you have to write that?!”)

God has also blessed me with three fantastic sons and daughter: Kristen, Brad, and Kevin. Our family treasures the gift of humour, and get-togethers are filled with laughter. Would an animated flick be made of the Bos family, the narrator would inevitably pronounce: “And there was much joy and laughter in the land!”

Two others have added to our joy: Jason, husband of Kristen; and Amanda, wife of Brad. Jay and Kristen begat Jamie and Matthew, and “Bramanda” begat Katelynn. (chuckle) Begat. (chuckle) Never typed that word before. Ever.

We are all in good health and good spirits. No one has cancer. Nobody was killed in a traffic accident. No relationship has soured. No one has walked away from the faith.

So I am extremely thankful for blessings upon blessings. It is a mystery why God has so evidently turned His face toward me and been gracious to me. Undeserving to say the least.

Today we will celebrate with family and friends. The Bos Lady has placed a Mexican theme on our celebrations tonight. There are all manners of Mexican décor right now at Chez Bos, and I have never seen so many limes this north of the equator. Tequila, my amigos and friends! The Bos Lady took a vacation day yesterday to prepare for tonight, spending much of the day prepping and cooking all manners of Mexican food and snacks. If POTUS had any sense of what is going on in the world, he would scrap his wall-building dream and build a new Interstate from Tijuana/San Diego straight to Chez Bos – we have enough food to feed them all.

55, eh? Ah yes, it’s a good time to be alive!

Oceans Deep

blue-ocean-28668-1920x1200Today is a “Sea Day”, meaning no port o’ call stops today. We are on Day 6 of our seven-day cruise to Mexico on Holland America’s ms Westerdam. The trip has been amazing, incredible, experiential – pick an adjective. More compelling though, the journey has been inspirational.

Each day, I’ve often gazed at the ocean’s awesome expanse from our room’s veranda or on one of the ship’s decks. During these quiet moments, the rhetorical questions of God to Job recorded in Job 38 have enriched me with pause for thought; specifically verses eight through eleven:

Or who shut in the sea with doors,
When it burst forth and issued from the womb;
When I made the clouds its garment,
And thick darkness its swaddling band;
When I fixed My limit for it,
And set bars and doors;
When I said,
“This far you may come, but no farther,
And here your proud waves must stop!”

The sight of endless water, as far as one can see and beyond, is breathtaking. Nautical mile after nautical mile, and hundreds of them, knowing nothing but water. And consider that at the time of this writing we are a couple of hours north of Mazatlan and the depths of the sea is 3440 feet. Under these waters, two One World Trade Center skyscrapers can stand one on top of the other. River City residents can imagine seven EPCOR Towers positioned one on top of the other in these depths. How amazing is that!

It’s even more so to us. The Bos Lady and I have been prairie dwellers all our lives. We gasped our first breaths near places brightened by endless seas of golden canola. In God’s good plan, we were blessed with our own children, who played under the warm sun of big-sky flatlands. We took family vacations across miles and miles of arrow-straight highways to see the majestic towering peaks of the Rocky Mountains. But oceans and seas have never been part of our lives. They have been mysteries to us. But this week, they have become more than a mysterious unknown. They’ve become inspirational, and intensely so.

It is the Almighty One who created the depths and expanses of these waters, and guides the movements of the great beasts of the deep and cares for all of the creatures in the watery depths. And yet, He also cares for the Bos Lady and me. Imagine that. As insignificant and microscopic as we are against the backdrop of these dark, deep and infinite mysteries of the great deep oceans, our awesome God loves and cares for us. What a covenant, what grace!

Can you believe that?

That is a rhetorical question as well. But one that has two obvious answers, depending on where you stand and what you believe.

For us, we take our position under the divine power of God and the perfect love of God, as described in the words of Job 41 and the lyrics of Charles Wesley’s beautiful hymn, “And Can It Be, That I Should Gain”…

Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook,
Or snare his tongue with a line which you lower?
Can you put a reed through his nose,
Or pierce his jaw with a hook?
Will he make many supplications to you?
Will he speak softly to you?
Will he make a covenant with you?
Will you take him as a servant forever?
Will you play with him as with a bird,
Or will you leash him for your maidens?
Will you companions make a banquet of him?
Will they apportion him among the merchants?
Can you fill his skin with harpoons,
Or his head with fishing spears?

‘Tis mystery all! Th’Immortal dies!
Who can explore His strange design?
In vain the firstborn seraph tries
To sound the depths of love divine!
‘Tis mercy all! let earth adore,
Let angel minds inquire no more.

[Refrain] Amazing love! how can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me!

This ocean journey for the Bos Lady and me will soon come to an end. But the inspirations will carry us on. Forever.