It used to be if I felt old, I would lose five pounds, buy a new outfit and stay up past 10:00 pm one night to feel young again. Now I would have to lose twenty pounds, color my roots, shop for days to find something that fits, and take a nap the next day if I did stay up late. It wears me out even thinking about it. I think I am just getting too old to shake the feeling old feeling anymore. However, I have learned it is all in perspective. I was at a party a few weeks ago and an elderly gentleman mentioned he was, “At the age where everything is either dried up or it leaks!” I guess relative to where he is at in life, I might begin to feel young again.
I am reminded every morning when I wake up though that I am no longer a spring chicken. My feet, legs and back remind me that there are some things even a Tempur-Pedic mattress can’t fix. I look in the mirror and my sexy nightgowns lost the sexy somewhere along the way. Although, I have found that if I don’t put my glasses on right away, I can pretend that I have a younger body and all is well. It’s much more pleasant than facing reality before my first cup of coffee. I pull out the medicine drawer and filler-up on the hormones I lost in menopause in hopes that I can finish a sentence at any given time during the day. On the bright side, I still have my own teeth and most days I can still laugh about getting old! I laugh even harder if it’s someone else getting older and not me though. However, the reality of life is, we are all going to get older unless we are dead. So looking at a glass half-full, one might be praising God for another day added to our age instead of the alternative!
Then there are the situations when I feel like life has been unfair to some. In last month’s mass shooting, one of the men killed, Matt McQuinn, was only twenty-seven years old. It affected me as his parents were people I’ve known for many years. We used to worship together every Sunday morning with our young children in the days gone by. When the kids are young you don’t think anything could happen to them. Even when Matt was twenty-seven, who would have thought he wouldn’t make it back home from a Batman movie?
I don’t understand it when God chooses to take someone from this life what I would think was prematurely. However, Jim and I were discussing this last night as I am yet again faced with a couple of loved ones struggling with cancer. Jim said he has learned, “that this earth is just a practice grounds…it’s full of do-overs. While we are here on earth, God allows us to figure things out so to speak. Grace is a beautiful gift we shouldn’t overlook. It allows us to become the person God created us to be and still allows us to have a clean slate after it is all said and done. Grace erases our past and gives us hope of a new beginning…sometimes over and over and over.”
If I knew what I know now when I was younger, my choices would have been drastically different. However, if I had not walked through the valley of sin and destruction, I may not appreciate the grace afforded to me to find my way out of that life today. I may not be the strong believer that I am today had I not felt the no-strings-attached forgiveness extended to me when I simply asked. Had I not walked through the trials given to me, I would have never developed the relationship that I have with my Savior that I have learned to lean on and to trust.
We both agreed that perhaps when someone is called home at an earlier age than I think they should be, that maybe they have “passed the test.” You know…become the person they were to become and served the purpose God had given them in this world. It seems like the younger the death, the more impact it has on those around them. Perhaps like Jesus, they were sent here to live so that even in their premature death, they might influence those around them for Christ. It doesn’t always make sense to us and we grieve over our losses. However, since when did God ever tell us everything or allow us to understand all about His plan? We aren’t here to have all the answers or say when someone should live or die. We are here to practice until we get it right!
So who cares if my teeth fall out, my hair needs colored and my bones creak when I move? My focus here on earth is to “get it right” and fulfill that which God has called me to do. Maybe I’m a slow learner and I will have to live to be 92 before God calls me home. Perhaps He just has so much for me to do I won’t be able to get it all done until then. I don’t know what tomorrow brings…neither do you. So, tell your friends and family you love them. Talk to them about Jesus if they don’t know Him personally like you do. Ultimately, it won’t matter how old they are when they die if they have accepted Jesus as their Savior. They will be in eternity with Him…no more sorrow or pain…no more need for do-overs—or makeovers for that matter! If you wake up tomorrow and God has called me home, don’t cry—know that I’m OK. I’ve simply gotten through my grace period and I’ve been signed on for eternity in heaven! (If I’m still around at 92, you can laugh at me and tease me that I must have fit into the slow learner category!)
Can I trust that it will be the same for you? If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, will you please pray today and ask Him to come into your heart? I love my friends and family and want you all there with me. It’s going to be a big party in the sky where young and old will be reunited in the afterlife. Until then, I thank God for another day to serve Him on this earth, and oh, please pass the Bengay!
Hebrews 13:14 (NLT) For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.
Philippians 1:20-26 For I fully expect and hope that I will never be ashamed, but that I will continue to be bold for Christ, as I have been in the past. And I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better. I’m torn between two desires: I long to go and be with Christ, which would be far better for me. But for your sakes, it is better that I continue to live.