"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." -Emerson

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Another Year Older...

Today marked my 27th year on this Earth. For the first time in my life, this birthday was overshadowed with a certain melancholy at the fact that I am getting older. I've never experienced that before, but with 30 lurking around the corner, I have realized I am no longer a child.

Why does aging sadden us so much, I wonder? Is it the fact that we are no longer the youth filled, carefree person we once were? Does the fear of leaving this life cause us to hate every time we grow one year older? Or is it having to watch these earthly vessels of ours start to crumble before our eyes that brings us such a sense of discouragement as each day of our birth rolls around?

I think sometimes our eyes get so fixated on what was behind us: that perfect figure we didn't know we had until it was gone, the easy life of no adult responsibilities, or the inability to know what was to come. Aging brings us to a point where we reflect and ask ourselves, where did another year go? Our sentences all begin with: just yesterday and before I knew it.

The funniest part is that so much of our youth is spent wishing we were older. At 5, I wanted to be 13 so I could sit at the big kids table during Thanksgiving dinner. At 13, I wanted to be 16 so I could drive and feel free. At 16, I wanted to be 18 so I could legally be considered an adult. At 18, I wanted to be 21 so I could have all the privileges of full fledged adulthood. At 21, I wanted to be 25, just so I could rent a car if I so chose. So many years, so many milestone years, were spent wasted on wanting to move on to the next stage. Now, I am finding myself wanting to slow this train down a bit so I can enjoy the scenery.

But, the truth is, the train is only going to speed up, which is why it becomes so important to enjoy every fleeting second of every single season God brings us through:
"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live. That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that men will revere him."
Ecclesiastes 3:1-9 (NIV)
Here's to enjoying this next season...
Until next time,

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