(Here’s an article I wrote a couple of years ago … It’s old like me.)
The countdown has begun – only 219 days until I turn 40. For some reason, I can’t get anyone to feel sorry for me. My kids look at me like, “What’s the big deal? You’ve always been old to us.” One young lady from church keeps telling me, “Well, I’m almost 30, pastor” (as if that would make me feel better). And everyone older than me just smiles and says, “Just wait; forty’s nothing.”
As I deal with my impending midlife crisis, it got me thinking about how we look at our lives. Very few people seem to be content with their age. When we are three years old, we want to be four or five so we can go to school. When we are in grade school, we want to be in junior high. When we are in junior high, we want to be in high school. When we are in high school, we want to be in college. And when we are in college, we dream of the day we graduate, the day we get a job, the day we get married and have kids. As young people we are constantly looking and longing for tomorrow and next year.
And then as we get older, we get torn. We look back on our younger years and long for our glory days. We somehow forget how miserable we were and how much we wanted to get out school and be adults. At the same time, we look ahead and can’t wait until retirement when we can finally take a break and do all the things we don’t have time to do right now.
Then, when we finally retire, our bodies slow down and we wish we could go back to work and be as productive as we used to be.
Human nature never seems to be content with today. It always wants to look back with nostalgia on yesterday or ahead with yearning to tomorrow. The Psalmist, however, reminds us to celebrate today. “This is the day the Lord has made,” he wrote, “let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24).
Every day – every stage of life – has its struggles and every day has its blessings. Instead of constantly being miserable, longing for a better day, a better age, look at the good things God has given you today.
So kids, enjoy watching cartoons and wearing Angry Bird pajamas – playing with Barbies and getting dirty. Once those days are over, you’ll never get them back.
Young people, enjoy the fact that you aren’t an adult yet. Sure, you don’t always get to do what you want, but you also don’t have to worry about how your food or clothes or home are going to be paid for. Sure you have to go to school, but you also get to hang out with your friends and lay around watching TV all day.
Adults, enjoy the fact that you can work and drive and clean your homes. The day will come when you won’t be able to do that anymore. And if you are in your twilight years, enjoy the fact that God has given you years of blessings, friends and family. Enjoy the fact that you can now give other people the opportunity to help you as you helped others for so many years.
Be content with the age God has given you. Yesterday is gone and can never be brought back. Tomorrow may never come. Forever is waiting for you in the joys of heaven because of Jesus and his love. So celebrate God’s gift of today – even if you are about to turn 40.