I like to exercise. I want to be healthy. I had a wake up call…..it was called turning 40. My oldest daughter is Autistic and has started growing at a rapid rate. She is 10. She’s now taller than me. So I need to be in decent shape if I expect to care for her long-term. My favorites are weight lifting, yoga and running. I can’t fit it all in all the time, but I do the best I can.
A friend bought be a copy of a yoga magazine recently and I was looking at the cover which had an amazing pose on the front. Some crazy, standing on your head type thing that requires the core strength to bench press a Buick and the flexibility of a pretzel. I remarked about it saying, “Wow, now there’s a pose to aspire to.” My 9 year old daughter had seen it lying on the table and said, “But Mom, that’s for youn—” I put my hand up. “Don’t say it,” I said. “But Mom..” – “Nope, I don’t want to hear it.” As I pass by her I hear her say to her little sister, and ALMOST under her breath, “that’s for young people”. NO. She did not! I look over my shoulder and she’s grinning at me. Yes, she did. “So I guess that makes me old?” I say. “Weeelllllll, you’re not twenty-something any more”. And there you have it. My daughter has called it as she sees it. I’m not twenty-something any more. And my joints can prove it.
I’m not twenty-something. I’m forty-something. But I have a 3-year-old, so that makes me young right? (Maybe just crazy). Except I was at a gathering recently and found myself standing by a friend who is the same age as me. I had my 3-year-old daughter on my hip and she had her 3-year-old GRAND-daughter on her hip. Now that friends, was a wake up call. In the past few weeks severaL twenty-something people have referred to me by saying various things about me that end with the phrase, “like a mom”. Whoa, wait a minute. I am seriously old enough to have a twenty-something as a child? When did that happen?
Time marches on and even though I may feel twenty-something in my mind, my body is not in agreement! Nor are my gray roots. But here’s the question. Why do we feel bad because we are no longer young? Like we could actually do something about it. Why do we feel apologetic that we are older than we used to be? Like we’ve somehow failed at something. Really, what did we think was going to happen? I mean, I haven’t seen a fountain of youth around here. What is the alternative anyway? We keep getting older or we don’t. And I don’t want the don’t.
A friend, who is about 10 years older, said to me recently, “by the time you get to be my age, you should be comfortable in your own skin.” She is so right. If the Lord has allowed you to live and draw breath another day then be glad. Celebrate the years. Somethings only get better with age. Wine. Cheese. A godly person. As time passes and we grow in God’s wonderful grace we can see life clearer. Never mind that we have to read His word with our arms stretched farther away so we can see the page. But having the privilege of walking with God over time makes us wiser, more gracious, more compassionate, lovelier to be with, more joyful and more confident of His great love. Even when we don’t understand life, the longer we walk with God, the more we understand Him. And knowing God is our greatest need in life. We can know Him more as we walk with Him longer. And the better we know Him the more we grow comfortable in our skin because we can trust that we are wrapped in God’s mercy.
I had to chuckle at my girl. I remember thinking my parents were ancient when I was a kid. I was sure my grandparents helped Noah build the ark. A child’s look at age is always skewed. Maybe ours is too. My Bible says our lives are only a vapor. “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” – James 4:14
In that case we’re all young! So I think I’ll stick with the yoga. Our lives are just a blink. There’s no time to lament being older because in just a moment our time will be up. Just live! Love. Laugh. Be joyful. Focus on what’s important. Drink in the fullness of who God is.
Maybe our days of eating pizza with abandon and pulling an all-nighter without serious consequences are over, but we’re just getting started good. And I’m so glad I know a few more things than I knew “back in the day”. Each day God will make our hearts new and put eternity before us. Aspire to do something great. Even if you’re not a twenty-something any more.
Enjoy every moment!