Let’s pretend you have a giant jar stuffed with hundred dollar bills, representing the days of your life. Seeing that you have a luxurious amount of money, you grab a fistful and head for your favorite shop. Anything you want, you take it off the rack and purchase it without even looking at the price tag. It goes on like that for years.
Then, sometime down the road, you take a look into your giant jar and realize that there is only a bit of cash and some loose change left, you can nearly see the bottom of the jar, and, suddenly, what’s left seems very precious to you. Now you are going to have to be more careful about how you spend it, and you find yourself wishing you would have invested what you had more carefully.
Or imagine that you wake up one day and you’re really, really old and wrinkly. Oh, choke, gasp, faint! You look in the mirror, and things have definitely gone south. But inside, you still want to go hang out with your friends. You still notice that handsome 20-something walking by you at the mall. You still want to fit into that cute outfit and eat chocolate and pizza and listen to good music.
You still wonder about your future, long to learn more, and have a million things you want to try. Someday. Only now, you know your earthly somedays are limited, so you have to be choosier.
Well, that’s kind of how it is. You look in the mirror one day, and you’re staring back at a face you barely recognize as your own. It doesn’t get any easier to bear than if it really did happen overnight. (So start adjusting your attitude about aging now, so you can love yourself and your life later).
The great thing about growing older is the growing part. When you stop growing, that is a kind of death, even if your heart is still beating.
You don’t necessarily become wiser and more mature just because you’ve celebrated a few birthdays. Wisdom and maturity are earned. One of the marks of wisdom is humility. The more you know, the more you know you don’t know jack. Even when you’re an “expert” on a subject, there is always a higher, deeper level of learning.
I’ve had younger folks tell me that I don’t understand what’s going on with them because things were different in “my day.” That always makes me smile. First of all, honey, my day ain’t over yet. I’m still on the same Earth with you and my eyes are wide open. Technology changes, scenery changes, but humans and human nature stay the same.
It’s the same old thing, forever and ever and ever, just wearing different clothes. It’s like the sky: sometimes it’s cloudy, sometimes it’s bright, sometimes pink, sometimes blue… but no matter how it’s all dressed up, it’s still the sky.
This I say for my children, because I wish they would learn from my experiences instead of having to learn everything the hard way.
Now that I’m a more experienced person, I always want to warn my kids about making the same mistakes I did. It’s sort of like I’m from their future. I already know that there are certain consequences for our actions, and I want to go back in time to tell them that they’re going to get hurt if they keep doing what they are! But what always happens in those Sci-fi movies when the person from the future does go back to try to fix things? Everyone just thinks she’s nuts.
Now, just for fun, imagine time is growing short and someone says, “Here, take one of my days. Do with it what you will.” What a gift! A day out of someone’s precious life.
But, wait! That’s exactly what God did when you woke up this morning. “Here, take this, it’s a day; do with it what you will.” I think he is hoping, though, that we’ll give it back to him. “No, here, You do with it what You will.”
I’m sure if you do that, you won’t be sorry.