What does it mean to turn “the big 5-0”?
It means I look back and ask myself, “How could I have come this far without getting very far?”
It means that I realize that 50 years in light of eternity is really nothing at all.
It means that many difficult moments that seemed like an eternity at the time are thankfully past me now. What did I glean?
It means there are just as many moments that I wished had lasted so much longer. They make me long for everlasting, true and perfect delight…and it is coming.
It means I ask myself, what did I do with all that time? “Where ever you are, be all there.” (Jim Elliot)
It means I take stock of all the lives I can remember that I touched. Are all those people improved in some way for having known me?
It means I am looking more and more seriously at my eternal footprint. (Hebrews 11:4) What will reverberate from my life when I am gone?
It means I am well on the glory side of my “three score and ten”…the longing gets stronger, the path ahead, clearer.
It means I learn more about how to allow God to “stablish, strengthen, settle” me.
It means I look beyond celebrations and sensations and seek to find value and joy in what I have instead of clamoring for what may never be mine.
It means perhaps my most foolish mistakes (and there have been a sufficient number) are behind me, as I grow up more into Him.
It means I rehearse to myself more solemnly the forgiveness of God, and learn to choose to forgive myself and others more readily. Grace.
It means I have a thankfulness welling up inside me for all God has done for me, all He is for me, all He has promised to me. In Him, everything is “yea and amen.”
It means I more frequently acknowledge my penury without Him, and that this recognition of the great dearth in my soul causes me to cling all the more desperately to His word.
It means that I see now that weakness is not a bad thing. In my weakness, He proves His strength and sufficiency in all things.
It means that I assent to the fact that it is not easy to embrace frailty, but if I don’t, I miss many opportunities to see His grace at work. “His grace has brought me safe thus far, His grace will lead me home.”
It means I have the great “Aha!” that only Christians can genuinely age grace-fully.
It means I look forward to each day with new relish, because His mercies are new every morning.
It means that I look to the years remaining to me with anticipation:
For age is opportunity no less than youth itself, tho’, in another dress. And as the evening twilight fades away, the sky is filled with stars. invisible by day. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow