My dad, Ron, turned 80 in October, and all five of his kids were present to celebrate with him. My mom, Audrey, would have been 80 on Nov. 18. (She died just shy of 52.) Since we couldn’t celebrate my mom’s 80th in the flesh, I honored that date by wearing a shirt Wendy painted for me for Christmas 18 years ago: “Born to Juggle,” with a baby in a stroller juggling a bottle, a ball, and a block with a “P” on it. When my mom gave birth to me, she didn’t set out to nurture a future juggling director. However, she did work hard for my first 16 years of life to instill in me godly virtues, faith, linguistic and theatrical skills, a love for family, recreation, travel, and exemplary unconditional love that transcends health, wealth, life, and death. My dad didn’t see his bouncing baby boy as a future entrepreneur working with kids in a vaudevillian art form, but he trained me in manhood, education, sports, frugality, citizenship, marital fidelity, and taking responsibility.
To my perspective, I was born with a thousand possibilities for my life’s direction. However, from an eternal perspective, I believe that I was literally “born to juggle,” inasmuch as God ordained my gifts and led me “in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake” since my own Day One (see Psalm 23:3). Similarly, I have no idea for which specific purpose(s) that any of our 12 dozen current Jugheads were born, but that’s not for me to know. All I know is that through God’s grace, with the help of my coaches & student leaders, I’m passing along life lessons that will hopefully accumulate in kids’ hearts and nudge them toward God’s will for their lives. I was born to follow Jesus, and juggling is a tool. He knows not just what’s good for me, but what’s BEST for me. I don’t believe in luck or coincidence. I believe that I’m called here, and that every Jughead has value and latent callings from birth that are developed through love and mentorship…and juggling.
Some of us may live 80 years; others will fall short. Regardless of our tenure on Earth, may we all say in the end that we fulfilled our callings—however unexpected they were—for our joy, others’ good, and God’s glory.