Happy Birthday to Me

Birthday Cupcake with CandleMiddle age struck three years ago, and I muffled through the passing as quietly as possible. Since then, I prefer not to even talk about my age most of the time. (Okay, not at all, actually.)

Approaching my last day in this life doesn’t really bother me. The steady decline of my physical state between now and then bothers me. My body already shows signs of it happening, and I hate feeling helpless knowing it’s going to happen no matter how much I resist. Exercise. Healthy eating. Adequate rest. Anti-wrinkle cream. And still the signs of aging multiply.

The forehead crease between my eyebrows bothers me the most of all the signs of aging, probably because of its prominence. Without major intervention via Botox or going under the knife, the crease will likely continue to stop conversations. “What’s up with that crease in your forehead?” (Seriously happened.)

When I focus on my physical aging, a gaze that happens in August more than any other month, the mental and spiritual aspects of my self seem get wrapped up in the obsession too. And this all-inclusiveness of the aging process bothers me more than the forehead crease.

Anti-Aging Scripture

One portion of Scripture brings me not only amazing peace within my struggle over my physical aging but also tremendous encouragement and even guidance.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

What’s that about “eternal glory”? Just this…

“…because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.” (2 Corinthians 4:14)

As I celebrate (which basically means pretending it doesn’t happen) my third year past what many consider life’s halfway point, I am drawn to focus on the part of me that isn’t “wasting away” but is “being renewed day by day” (means I’m actually not aging, right?)… the part that gets to experience this “eternal glory.” I’m definitely up for that!

This change in focus certainly gives the physical decline (and I may be exaggerating its severity only slightly) less attention, which then allows my attentions to find their way toward God’s desires. And that renewed focus — the one bent toward eternity — completely changes my perspective by helping me to…

  1. Refuse to give up and become a couch potato.
  2. Focus on renewal instead of on that which will continue to fade.
  3. Look past the physical of this life and toward the reality of eternity.
  4. Maintain a forward focus instead of a downhill one.
  5. Seek eternal joy in place of temporary happiness.

And while I now feel motivated to continue making progress because of the truth of the Scripture given above, what follows in the next chapter of Corinthians ices the cake (and I don’t even eat cake, not even for my birthday). We’ll look at that portion of Scripture — at the new body we’re promised — in next week’s post.

DISCUSSION: Where does your focus lie?

10 thoughts on “Happy Birthday to Me

  1. oh my very young friend, enjoy the journey. some of us have many more scars from the journey than wrinkles. But, every wrinkle, scar and age spot reflects a love for life. Memories cherished, lessons learned, witnessing life, and wisdom gained are worth outward evidence of age. Like Theo said, as long as there are stories to write, retirement will have to wait. I think you have many more stories to witness and write about. Age is a relative term . Some wear their wrinkles, and scars better than others.

  2. So…you are only 29? Good for you! Funny you should post this. I'm wearing a shirt today I used to fill out with some pretty good muscle size. Not any more. LOL The signs of aging are there for sure, but it is also a sign that I will see Jesus sooner than later.

    • Exactly! Have been for years 😜 Oh yeah, clothes are another aging annoyance. Eternity with Jesus makes all the difference in perspective. Focus determines reality.

  3. Actually I will turn 65 in November and I feel OLD. Just saying I am now on MEDICARE makes me feel old. I do not want to be OLD. I do not for the most part look it, until I look in the mirror after shower and see my mother looking back. I do know and believe with all my heart that as this body fails and it is, and life draws me closer to the end of my time on this earth, God is preparing my heart and soul to spend eternity at home with Him. I have come to say the alternative to being OLD, is having a young heart and living each day to the fullest. I am blessed! So many changes in my life, but God has never changed!

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