Q: How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
I really like this question. I’m going to make some time to think about it. (My daughter just sent me this cute video of a “pondering” frog that I just had to put in my blog today.)
I’m 55 years old but quickly edging toward 56. Clearly, my body is telling me that I can’t be doing those spontaneous cartwheels in the back yard or the back layout-full twists on the trampoline without some serious damage. However, I did manage to get up on one ski and successfully slalom over the wake a few times last summer – sometimes, you just “gotta show what ya’ got!” The upper arm muscles were screaming the next day but it was definitely worth it.
So, the body is aging and menopause has not helped in the least. I’ve only recently been able to claim back this alien body that has possessed me over the past five years. I have made peace with reality that this is the aging process and that my body has permanently changed, yet I live in a culture that vigorously and foolishly declares that I’m not supposed to succumb to it.
I was on my elliptical machine this morning, watching a rerun of “Dancing With The Stars”. Smoky Robinson, the rock legend, appeared on stage in all of his glitter and started crooning the old but mighty Motown hits. I love that music but all I could focus on was his abnormally youthful and shiny face. The man is 71 years old but it seems like his brow lift has pulled his brows way too high, giving him a permanently surprised look. His skin looks awkwardly tight and well, I saw a man who refuses to accept reality. Then again, I color my hair so maybe there’s some hypocrisy going on here??
If I didn’t know how old I am, my body would still tell me that I’m 55 years old. The thing is my mind and spirit does too…and that’s not a bad thing! I have more life behind me and by His grace, I am growing in wisdom and am alive in my spirit. Yes, I do think young people can be wise for their age but older people, who have walked with God for a long time – who have lived in this world but not of it – have God honoring depth and perspective, insight and understanding, prudence and discipline, discretion and character, peace and hope….NONE of which I would ever trade for youthful looks or energy.
How old would I be if I didn’t know how old I am? I’d say somewhere in my 50’s because the true joy that I know that this stage of life hasn’t come without a price. Learning to live abundantly doesn’t just happen – it takes time. It’s the result of obeying God, recognizing my sin, applying His truth, making good choices, sacrificing, thinking about others, living humbly, going “against the grain,” prioritizing and doing what is right, rather than what is easy, simplifying, thinking about others, creating boundaries, loving well and most importantly, constantly dying to self.
I believe that a person needs to “have some years under one’s belt” to consistently and authentically desire more of Jesus and less of oneself.
The years know what the days don’t.