Last night I had the opportunity to go to a concert with several of my buddies from high school and college. We had a great time talking about old times and catching up on those lost years. The excuse to get together was to go see a concert featuring two 1970s bands. The music was good.
We were up close so we were able to really see the band members and it took me by surprise. These were men in their late 50s and early 60s. As I watched, I notice that there were:
- Those who still truly love the music and and being a musician.
- Those who, although the years had not been kind yet, longed for their youth and
- Those who were doing everything in their power to appear young and vibrant.
What has happened to American culture where growing old has become so negative; where acting your age means that you are giving up. I do not see it that way. Growing old is a beautiful thing and something that we are all meant to do.
When God is not a central figure in our lives; it is easy to see how growing old makes one feel uncomfortable; how someone may have a deep desire to stay young, although it is not possible. However, when God is a central figure in our lives, there is an understanding that all that we go through is leading us to Him. The older we get, the fuller our understanding of Him and how He is calling us to live our lives. That knowledge brings great joy and cannot be completely understood in our youth. We must grow old to receive that gift.
I have no desire to be young again. I love where I am and I have great anticipation for the future. And I know that this gift is all because of Him.
It also reminds me of this:
"I like spring, but it is too young. I like summer, but it is too proud. So I like best of all autumn, because its leaves are a little yellow, its tone mellower, its colours richer, and it is tinged a little with sorrow and a premonition of death. Its golden richness speaks not of the innocence of spring, nor of the power of summer, but of the mellowness and kindly wisdom of approaching age. It knows the limitations of life and is content. From a knowledge of those limitations and its richness of experience emerges a symphony of colours, richer than all, its green speaking of life and strength, its orange speaking of golden content and its purple of resignation and death".
Lin Yutang 1936