Well, today’s the day. TODAY is the 11th Anniversary of My 29th Birthday. I’ve finally reached an age that no longer sounds young to me. I have reached “middle age.” (Is that anything like Middle Earth?)
I have been attempting to come to terms with my aging for a while now, and I think I am starting to believe that there is a new vision for my life. This point did not come in the form of an epiphany by any means; instead, it came gradually and through unexpected paths.
About two years ago, I began to feel that God was leading me on a quest (hey, this is getting to be more and more like Middle Earth) to discover His vision for my life beyond 40. That realization began as I was reading the book of Isaiah.
“Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder the things of the past. Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth; will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness, rivers in the dessert.” (Isaiah 43:18-19)
Part of that quest involves my health journey, which I talk about in How to… Be Victorious. About a week ago, through comments in the post Approaching Halftime, several of my online friends encouraged me in another aspect of my quest with the following pieces of advice.
“The best is yet to come.”
When I look back over the past 40 years, that statement has held true for sure, and there’s no reason to believe it won’t continue to do so. So even though a part of me wishes this life involved immortality (if I could be any mythical creature, it would be an elf), knowing that “the best is yet to come” adds an excitement to life.
“We are not guaranteed tomorrow.”
Because any of our lives could end in a blink of the eye (just watch the news if that fact isn’t clear), enjoying the gift of today provides tremendous motivation for discovering and living out the vision God has created for my life. Thinking on this statement encourages me to truly “make the most of every opportunity” that God gives me within each and every day (Ephesians 5:15-16).
“Celebrate the gift of life.”
The gift of life includes the joy of family. It’s thankfulness for successes achieved. Knowing that life is a gift means realizing that God allows dreams and goals to unfold when we don’t even realize it and in doing so creates something to celebrate that is bigger than our greatest imaginations. Celebrating this gift of life has to involve not letting birthdays burden you. And certainly it also means sharing that gift, and more importantly the Giver, with others.
A New Vision for My Life
I do not know specifically what God’s “new vision” looks like for my life, but I do know that it involves better than I can imagine, more joy in my life and celebrating His goodness and mercy. Even though my thoughts sometimes dwell too much on the past or too often on “what ifs,” I know that He is creating a roadway for me to follow and rivers that will bring refreshment along that journey.
Sometimes we will wish parts of our lives did not happen and that we could erase them. And too often, perhaps, we pretend they really didn’t happen and fail to ever really deal with them.
Frodo: “I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.”
Gandalf: “So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
(Fellowship of the Ring)
But instead of living in regret, the birthday present I am giving myself, is to now decide how to live out the time that has been given me and to age gracefully. And even though I may not know the specific details of that living, I do know that it involves a tremendously hopeful future (Jeremiah 29:11).
DISCUSSION: If this post reads like I struggled through writing it, that’s because I did. Do you have any recent struggles that you have made public to allow others to come along side you in your journey?