Thursday, January 23, 2014

My First Fifty Years: What I've Learned

Yes, I still play. (Photo: Steve Thelen.)
Eight years ago, I was playing around with Microsoft® Money and found an add-in for investment advice. As part of the program, it asked various questions about my general health background. Being interested, I followed through, answering the questions as honestly as possible then hit the “submit” button. The program digested my answers, thought for a couple of seconds then generated its answer. Among its conclusions, I found the rather disturbing prediction: “Life expectancy: 46 years.”
If you’ve done the math, you’ll have figured out that I was 42 at the time. Yikes.
Considering that I’m celebrating my fiftieth year of life today, rather than decomposing in a pine box somewhere, is merely a reminder that actuarial tables have the force of neither physical nor human law.  The longer you live, the longer they expect you to live. (That is, no combination of answers will ever cough up the result “This guy should have died four years ago,” or “Check your watch; you could go any second”). In fact, since 1996, when I survived being robbed at gunpoint for the second time, every breath I’ve taken has been in the knowledge that life is an unmeritable gift.

 Read more at Catholic Stand!