A year goes by so fast, doesn’t it?
When we celebrated my son’s first birthday with our friends and family respectively, our little one was showered with gifts, despite our sincerest requests, which we will be careful to space out and switch out through the year.
I didn’t do the typical “Mom Thing,” which I guess is crying that my baby wasn’t technically a baby anymore.
And now he’s a whole two years old!
It’s bittersweet, of course, but to be honest, I just shrugged it off as fact. Whether I like it or not, he’s going to get older, as are we all.
And yet at the same time, getting older has always been something I’ve been petrified of. This most natural of things is something I’ve been irrationally afraid of, like a fear of clowns or imaginary monsters under the bed.
Aging is inevitable. Since we are not protagonists of a certain game or anime series involving pocket monsters, we must get older. And yet for some reason, this is a process most people can’t seem to accept, and is something many more fear and try to fight.
“As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or if due to strength, eighty years. Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; for soon it is gone and we fly away.” Psalm 90:10.
If it is God’s will, most of us will have a good several decades on this Earth, but we are not meant to stay here forever. God has a plan for our several decades until He decides it is our time to be taken home with Him. This isn’t something to fear, but something to embrace. Life is a gift, and we should appreciate it through all its stages.
Perhaps one of the reasons we fear getting older is because we feel we will be lost on our own. When we’re young, we have our parents, teachers, and other trusted adults helping us through all of the trials of everyday life. But when we’re older, we’re supposed to be the ones helping the next generation. Perhaps we still feel we, ourselves, need a little guidance. But as we get older, we run out of people to show us the way. Maybe we forget that there is always Someone guiding us.
“Even to your old age I will be the same. And even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you; and I will bear you and I will deliver you.” Isaiah 46:4
Just because we are “Old and Wise” doesn’t mean we have to suddenly know what we’re doing at all times, and it certainly doesn’t mean that God will stop directing our path. Whenever we need guidance, just as He always has been, he will always will be a prayer away.
Finally, the reason many are afraid to get older could simply be just the fear of losing strength and ability, being stricken with arthritis or other ailments, or simply losing youthful vigor and looks. As vain as the latter may be, it’s certainly not uncommon to get upset at the sight of a grey hair or extra forehead wrinkle, or even just dreading the simple fact that an extra year is being tacked on to your age.
But 2 Corinthians 4:16 says not to “lose heart” at this. “Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”
It’s natural to be a little upset when life on Earth makes our age become more and more apparent, and even aging itself can eventually become uncomfortable and debilitating. Despite all of this, we should take comfort in knowing that as our bodies age, our spirits are getting that much more time to level up, and the trials we face here, aging included, are nothing compared to the glory that awaits us.
With all of this in mind, I await my 29th birthday with a little less apprehension and a little more gratitude for the gift of life I’ve been given.