Can I take a moment to vent? Rant, a little? Granted, it’s been about 8 months since the last time I wrote, and I should be easing my way back into this. But a rant is about as good a way to get back into it as any, I’d say?
Ok, here I go.
So, I have a pet peeve: I don’t like negative people. I don’t like negative people who are negative about ageing. They deflate me. They suck the life right out of the room and make me feel hopeless.
See, this year I’m turning 24. 24. One year away from 25. 6 away from 30. 16 away from 40. You get the picture. Like every kid, turning 18, and then 21 was always exciting for me, because they brought me closer and closer to adulthood. But then after I hit 21, I started noticing a trend. People stop getting excited about ageing, and instead start to dread it. I often hear people say “ughhh, I’m SO old” (yes, coming from a 23 year old), and “well, you know it’s downhill from here”. Meanwhile, all I’m thinking is “What DOWNHILL? We haven’t even gone UPHILL yet?” And I’ve heard these lines echoed by so many my age, that lately, I’ve started to wonder and doubt my positivity around this issue.
My teen years kinda sucked. I was super shy and reserved, self-conscious and insecure. Those years were spent holding myself in all the time, keeping myself caged and quiet. Fortunately, before the end of those years, Jesus saved me and began to unravel me. He set me free. Starting from when I turned 18 up to this very day, I can track back the exponential growth that has occurred in my life every year, and the FREEDOM that I’m living in now, compared to how I lived when I was 18. It’s phenomenal. And every year gets BETTER. So for me, ageing has been closely connected to exponential growth and excitement. My life has been an upward curve (if we’re to get all statistical about it) the older I have gotten. So it really bugs me when I’m constantly hearing people talk DOWN the process of ageing and getting older, because for me the older I’ve gotten, the bigger the testimony my life has become to ME.
On further reflection, everyone I admire and look up to in their later years in life (40’s-50’s) keep telling me how it’s only NOW that they know they’re being the people God called them to be, and are DOING what it is they were put on the planet to do. They are content, but not satisfied, hungry, but settled, and are faithfully building things into the kingdom that I’m still dreaming about in my 20’s. The Bible too is full of leaders whose lives it seems BEGAN after their 20’s, because God used those years to build and form character. Scriptures speak of going from glory to glory, as we walk with the Lord, which says to me that our worldly perceptions of ageing are warped, and sad to be honest. As far as it looks, in the Bible, the years AFTER your 20s is where all the good stuff is. By good, I mean the stuff that lasts. That changes things.
So I’m trying to get and give a little perspective here. Ageing is a beautiful, bitter-sweet process. It comes to us all, at the same rate, but not at the same time. The only reason I can think of that would make ageing a negative thing is if you feel like you’re in the wrong place, at the wrong time, doing the wrong thing (No one could be THAT wrong about so many things). In which case, maybe the problem then isn’t with ageing itself, but maybe a problem of cynicism? Or the unmet (often unrealistic) expectations you set for yourself at the age you are in? Whatever the case, maybe we just need to calm down, and maybe speak more about the GOOD we find in ageing. I know that what matters, at least for me, is knowing that this year, I’m more free and more relentless in my pursuit of seeing His kingdom come in me than I was a year ago. I love that goal because it’s not something I can do in and of myself, but something I welcome the Holy Spirit to do in me. He’s far out numbered my expectations. The more I welcome that, the more I find that I like where this journey of ageing is going, and the more I look at 25, 30, 50, 60, and embrace them all, because I’m assured of one thing:
“Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 18But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the LORD. “
Preach over, I promise.