It has been said that age is but a number. That we are only as old as we feel. “As a man thinketh,” etc.
There is a certain truth to this. And having a positive outlook certainly has benefits. In this sense, age is just a number.
But aging is cold, hard fact. I first became cognizant of this in my late twenties: a few of the whiskers in my beard took the inexorable spin on the color wheel to gray.
But I didn’t feel any older. (The gray has since spread like a disease, slowly making its way from the center of my chin up the sides of my face).
A little later, the early thirties, my metabolism showed signs of decline: I could no longer eat what I wanted without consequence.
And then one morning I awoke to find that, while they never had before, consuming too many sweets precipitated nausea. It was around this same time I discovered that any amusement park rides which involved spinning introduced a rather greenish cast in my otherwise lily white skin.
The late thirties brought with them: bladder problems, sleep apnea, and hypothyroidism. All treatable, but all nevertheless leaving me (subjectively) feeling much older than I ever had.
The last several years have been a time of transition, evolution, and entropy:
I’m objectively, quantifibly becoming something: older.
My body is evolving (or devolving) as time goes on (evolution=change over time).
And I’m slowing down. Entropy–the second law of thermodynamics. “Things wear out, the center cannot hold…”
Just at the time when things are heating up professionally, and personally, my get up and go has got up and went. I have ideas, but no stamina to execute on them. Such cruel irony.
My son recently asked if I wanted to live forever. My reply? In this body? God, I hope not. I want an upgrade! I want one that doesn’t get weary, one that doesn’t have sleep apnea, one that doesn’t have upper eyelids that are puffy and drooping.
I want an upgrade.
Thankfully, one is coming. It’s only requirement is that I die. That’s the deal: birth requires some kind of death. Sperm cells and ovum, once united, are no longer what they were–have in fact died to their old natures to bring forth be life. So it is with the Christian: “though the outer man is perishing, the inner man is being renewed day by day.”
So in the meantime, between now and when God calls me home, I will practice the only death afforded me:
Death to self. Pressing on in spite of life’s hardship and frailties. Trusting that what He says is true. And I’d like to think that, because I need it so much more, I understand grace just a little bit better. His grace suffices, and I fall upon it everyday. I fall, and He makes me to stand.
I can–because He did, and does.
I’m not too old, too busy, or too tired to dream. Sure, I’m older, and my body is (as is yours) marching towards decay, I’m not dead yet.
And neither are you.
Let’s choose to die daily to the desire to give up, to throw in the towel.
A story is written one word at a time–line upon line. Likewise, a painting is made one brush stroke at a time. Weight is lost one pound at a time, walking happens one step at a time…
Dreams are achieved when all the small steps we take are added together into a new whole. We can do hard things.
So take the next step, my friends. There is always grace sufficient for that. We can do it.