Does it really matter? Is this such a big deal? Maybe–and then, maybe not.
OK–we all get a little older with every birthday. But sometimes, it is more difficult for me to deal with the idea of my children growing up. Sunday, after church, we came home and sat down to eat lunch. We all bowed as I began to give thanks for our food. As we bowed, it hit me that this was Jamie’s last Sunday home–her last Sunday lunch–before leaving for college. As I prayed, I said Jamie’s name and then…
I teared up–started blubbering. Oh brother…
I know–watching children grow up is a part of life. Growing up. Coming and going. Leaving home. Most of the time, I don’t mind. You know how it is, you adjust and move on.
I will tell you what bothers me.
- I get bothered when people (maybe 40 or 45 years of age) begin to tell everyone they are getting "old" and then act as if they are.
- I get bothered when people act as if one’s weight, figure, size, etc. are more important than anything else about a person.
- I get bothered when people begin to shut down at 50 or 60. They begin to act as if the best of life has happened and now they are just along for the ride.
- I get bothered when people assume the worst about a younger or older person due to their age even though they don’t know them.
- I get bothered when a person stops thinking, dreaming, and looking to the future. That person really is "old." She lives as if the best has already happened.
When I was in college at the University of North Texas, I took a communications class. I noticed this girl the first day she walked through the door. Stunning. Very attractive. Then after a few weeks of being in class, I heard her talk. One day, just before class began, she turned around in her seat to talk to someone else in the class. She loudly used the "f" word a few times as she talked about her weekend with her boyfriend. Things went down from there. The more she talked, the less attractive she seemed. Apparently being attractive and being beautiful aren’t always the same thing.
A lot of people try their best to defy age. A plastic surgeon may help wrinkles or sagging skin disappear. Perhaps this surgeon can enhance this or that on your body. But a plastic surgeon cannot give a person real life. He or she can’t impart the life that can only come through Jesus.
The truth? It is OK to be 20 years old, 30 years old, 40, 50, 60, or whatever–if the best is yet to come. Isn’t that what Christians believe because of the Gospel? Doesn’t the Gospel give us real life that can’t be touched or impacted by a biological clock?
For to me, living is Christ and dying is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me, and I do not know which I prefer. I am hard pressed between the two: my desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better (Philippians 1:21-23).
The best is yet to come! Knowing this makes all the difference to me. Knowing this makes it possible to live with contentment (Phil. 4:11-13). Maybe, just maybe, He is enough–no matter what age you happen to be. This is how I want to live.
This is not meant to just be an encouraging post. I’m telling you what is making a difference in my life. What about you?