Next week I begin my 60th year. (What the heck??? !) I decided to look it up and—to my relief—according to Wikipedia, I’ve still got plenty of time in middle-age. (Whew.)
Being a “suddenly-emptied” nester, I find myself often in the company of a demographic that’s, well, older. In writing this, I sought a gentler word; “mature” popped up. Hmmm. Sadly, that’s not always the case. No matter our locale, no matter our age, it seems we always wind up at a table with the wise, wincing at the wearisome; the reliable, reasoning with the ridiculous; the funny, frustrated by the infuriating.
It’s temping, at those times, to sit in judgment. We assess ourselves as the wise, reasonable, funny guest—speculating which goofball invited that wearisome, ridiculous, infuriating chatterbox. Then THUMP! It hits us: we ALL have our days where we can be any (or all) of the above. Seriously, how dare we categorize? Which of us can honestly say that we have “arrived”?
It’s at these junctures that God does His best work. Life moves forward when we take time to let our trajectory redirect. Sometimes that entails taking the risky jump off our high-horse. By the same token, it’s extremely sad when people leave that table, go home, and wake up the next morning—not moving forward: fallow periods, wandering on wearisome; remaining ridiculous; finally infuriating.
Take it from somebody 59 and holding: Age. Doesn’t. Matter. We’ve seen 8-year-olds with enough wherewithal to change the world, and 80‑year‑olds that could use a good tar-and-feathering. While there’s a lot we can’t control, one thing we DO get to choose every day: our own conduct, development, and growth.
Paul said it well: “I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. … let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.”
There’s much to learn through interaction with the wise, wearisome, reliable, ridiculous, funny, and infuriating. John Lennon also said it well (albeit possibly not meaning this context): “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.”
So how about let’s hit those lovely tables today, and make the most of it!