“No matter how bad things get, there’s something good out there just over the horizon.” Green Lantern
My recent superhero-themed 60th birthday party has gotten me thinking about life and aging, the fears of the unknown yet to come, along with the wisdom of retrospect. 60 years has given me lots of perspective, and I now measure my life not in years but in decades.
The Teenage Years: Running wild and free…and loving it! Marveling at the ancientness of those in their 20s. Thirty-year-olds? Over the hill!
In high school I hosted a bonfire with scores of kids from school. I threw a doll onto the fire and said, “This will be you for eternity, if you don’t repent and turn to Jesus!” Isn’t that what all teenagers do?
Twentysomething: You’re invincible and you can conquer the world! You have ambitions to be a history-maker who will become the best in whatever you do!
This was a decade of energy and passion. Here I met the woman who knocked me off my feet, the one with whom I’ll spend the rest of my decades adventuring.
Thirtysomething: Okay, so maybe 30 wasn’t really “over the hill” after all. But there is often a crisis here: you’re “too old” for the younger generation and “too young” for the older generation. You may have a lot of ideas and answers, but you’ve little experience to demonstrate their impact or success. You have energy and passion, but the routines and foundation-building of these years can feel lackluster and confining.
Lots of trades at this stage: cool car for a family van, two-man tent for a mini-chalet, study for a nursery, and duet for a quintet…for us it was three little ones in five years.
Fortysomething: Second wind for your current career…or maybe a new one altogether. Family life is comfortably routine, and you can find serenity in the face of craziness: soccer, piano, youth group, flute, volleyball…and Suzuki violin!
A new birth for me, my fourth “little one”: LIFE International. Really not all that different from a child, who must also learn to crawl before he can walk.
Fiftysomething: Where can your life have meaning? Lots of adjustments are often made here as we strive to make each and every day count.
Fighting off, for a time, the young men trying to capture the hearts of my daughters. Now they are blessed with Godly husbands, and I am blessed with two more incredible sons…and an enchanting granddaughter who has captured and melted my heart.
Sixtysomething: Some dread this milestone, while others celebrate: 60 is the new 40! I have some expectations and suspicions about what may come during this next decade. Check back in ten years to see if hindsight has validated foresight!
I was blessed to turn this corner without the aid of a walker or a cane! The Lord is inviting me into a deeper trust, to abide in Him while investing in, and enjoying, others. May my testimony be that of John the Baptist, who said of Jesus: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30).
I’ve no ambition to be a superhero, but I’m praying that this decade will be my most productive, impacting, and meaningful, as I give Jesus His rightful place as my Lord and Maker.