Does getting older bother you?
For years I've heard women balk at their age, lie about their age, and joke about being "forever 29." And I never got it. I mean, age means credibility. Age means another year of life that God has blessed you with. And I wouldn't want the alternative to aging, which is not living another year.
However, I recently turned 50. And I think I'm beginning to understand those reservations about aging. The thought that I'm half a century old and I now have fewer days in front of me than behind me is quite mellowing.
Since I prefer to look at every situation as an opportunity to grow, let me share with you five things I already appreciate about turning 50:
1. Wisdom and experience come at a cost. With that in mind, I would rather be the age I am now than to be fumbling through my 20s and 30s again, still trying to figure out life, still needing to learn the lessons God has already taught me, and still making the mistakes I no longer want to repeat. Thank you, God, for lessons learned, experiences gained, and wisdom that comes through living life (Proverbs 3:13).
2. There is an urgency to living wisely and well. Now that there are fewer days in front of me than behind me, how I live from this moment on shapes my eternity even more than it ever did before. Will mine be an eternity of rewards and blessings, or a quiet disappointment that I hadn't lived more for Christ and less for myself? Thank you, God, for reminders that I am mortal and that I am to number my days that I may present to you a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12).
3. Age brings a greater appreciation for life and health. At 50, I am now witnessing what others my age and older experience: the heartbreak of watching loved ones age and struggle with illnesses, the prospect of one day losing my parents, the realization that my body can't (or doesn't want to) do the things it did when it was much younger, and so on. Yet, the sobering realization that I will one day face these heartaches that many others have is somehow a comfort, knowing there is One who goes before me who has already seen it all. Thank you, God, that you are going before me in this season of life and you know all about what lies ahead (Psalm 139:16).
4. I have more reason now to care for my body than ever before. Scripture says our bodies are a temple of God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). The better I care for that temple, the longer I can serve him in it. Funny how age changes your perception on things like this. From ages 18-48 I was motivated to work out in order to keep my weight down, keep my upper arms firm, and keep my abs flat. Today, it's more about staying in shape to keep my body parts from aching, to keep my heart beating steadily, and to prevent injury that results from prolonged inactivity (like long hours sitting at my desk and writing). Thank you, God, that I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14) - even in the aging process - and that you watch over every beat of my heart. And thank you for daily opportunities to exercise, walk outdoors, and move this body you've given me.
5. The relationship with God becomes sweeter with age. There is one thing that comforts me day in and day out, especially on days when I can't figure myself out or understand why God would want to call me his own. It is this: he has searched me and known me. He is familiar with all my ways. All my days were ordained before me and he has written every one of them in his book (Psalm 139). God has written a book about each of us...that's how much we are on his heart. That means he has followed the story of my life - and yours. He was the God of my childhood, the God of my teenage years, the God of my honeymoon and parenting years. And he is now the God of the second half of my life, just as well as the first half. There is something comforting knowing that God has seen my life from beginning to end, and as I'm in the second half of it inching toward the end, he is there to guide me to the finish line. For this reason, I can be content "forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead" and "I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:14).
What do you appreciate about your age or season of life?
Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker and author of several books, including When Women Walk Alone (more than 120,000 copies sold), God's Whispers to a Woman's Heart, and her newest, When God Sees Your Tears. For more on her ministry or for free resources to strengthen your soul, marriage, or walk with God, see her website: www.strengthforthesoul.com
Publication date: March 5, 2015