I’m not sure how I feel about “getting older.” On one hand, I welcome the concept with open arms, “with age comes wisdom” or so they say. On the other hand, I find myself frantically sending a selfie video to my best friend…. “Is that a GREY hair on MY head?!” It cannot be.
The same is true in parenting. Oh, those early years of endless diapers, constant feedings, and the day-to-day sleepless blur. My heart in those early years longed for the older version of my children. Somehow those days are here in front of me already, and as much as I love this new stage of independence, I find myself at times missing those wild early years.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the subtle messages that culture sends about aging. Between the sure-to-come mid-life crisis and the countless brands of anti-wrinkle cream, the thought of growing old can feel heavy. Older people themselves even tend to confirm this daunting picture of aging as they navigate through the process of a body that is slowing down and falling apart.
The other day my husband and I were talking with our realtor who happens to be seasoned with age. In the midst of appraisal quotes and market value numbers, he said something that we don’t often hear and was the first thing we wanted to talk about the moment we said our goodbyes and closed the door behind.
“You know,” he began, “getting older is such a fantastic thing. Really, it is JUST the best. You wait and see, your best years are still ahead of you.”
In a culture where you can hop online and purchase a coffee mug that says “Your best years are behind you.” his bold statement was incredibly counter-cultural. It was filled with so much hope in an area that sometimes feels hopeless.
Maybe there is something to this aging thing after all?
“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life, Make them known to your children and your children’s children.” Deuteronomy 4:9
Deuteronomy reminds us to be diligent as we age. It indicates purpose and promise. Being diligent implies that you are doing something that is focused, particular, and purposeful. As you age, you get to pass on the baton of truth to not only your children but other men and woman behind you as well. Aging physically should also mean you are aging spiritually and as you do so, you acquire the capacity to more easily share the truth.
There is actually so much blessing in aging and a purpose that is meant for each season we encounter. The wisdom that you have collected in years can be a great gift to the next generation if you are purposeful in sharing it. You can encourage, equip, and inspire in a way that only years can credit.
Aging is wonderfully strange. You are not the person you once were, but not yet the person you will become.
No matter your age or stage, your life is always teaching something through your actions, words, and deeds. So be intentional today and lean into the good design God has intended.
“But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day.” Proverbs 4:18
Shining brighter with age,
More of Nicki Behnke’s writings can be found at reallifeinreverse.blogspot.com