Our culture sure does put a ton of emphasis on youth, doesn’t it? My twenty-year-old readers probably don’t give too much thought to the aging process, but be assured the young and beautiful message is being blasted loud and clear throughout our society. Even my male readers will one day realize their teenage sons can outrun them and possibly bench press more than their old man. There is no doubt about it: the aging process is inevitable. It is happening to all of us.
Remember when we were kids and someone would ask how old we were? “Five-and-a-HALF!” we would exclaim. That half was paramount to the sentence because it meant we were much closer to six than we used to be. Each year the countdown to our birthday ensued, and each year our higher age gave us more power on the playground. We were giddy to grow older.
When did that change? Why did that change? You hear of people mourning over turning forty or fifty. I personally know people who want to ignore that specific day when their birthday rolls around. Maybe it is because as humans we know that our time here on the planet is limited. Like we are all in line for the diving board and each year the ones on the end of the diving board hop off into the pool and each birthday brings us closer to being the next in line. Doomed to growing old and dying. Sad, huh?
As I read the Bible, I see the exact opposite. As believers who are seeking Him, we are actually being renewed daily (Romans 12:2). We are becoming more and more conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). Each step of obedience walked out with Him is bringing new life, new wisdom, and new understanding. We truly have the choice to age as fine wine or stinky cheese! Don’t worry, this is not the rant of a middle-aged woman whose metabolism has officially broken up with her, although that is true. No, today I want to focus on what I’ve learned about aging from my grandmother—my ninety-eight-year-old grandmother, that is.
Granny and I have always been close, and after my mom died four years ago, Granny’s role in my life has become even sweeter. Ever since I was a little a girl, I remember her telling me, “Scarlet, I’m going to live to be 102.” She would chuckle that she had to beat the female relatives in her family who had made it past 100. She has taught me that what we speak out loud over our lives’ matters. Granny is in full swing and is savoring her life. Not all her days were sunny, and her life stands for perseverance for sure.
I am forever grateful that she introduced my mother to Jesus, who in turn introduced me. Her treating me to lunch was just what my middle-school heart needed when a boy broke my heart, and the secrets we shared during the commercials of her “stories” (aka soap operas) were delightful. The high school graduation earrings and the baby bracelets when I became a mother will always be treasured. My favorite present I opened from her was a quilt that she had stitched with her own hands, and I loved that it had a small coffee stain on it. All those hours she put into it while drinking coffee. Some would want to wash the stain, but I love it. It is a reminder that life is a lot of stitches and sometimes gets messy, but when submitted to God it because a beautiful tapestry to be modeled and passed down to future generations.
Happy Birthday, Granny! Thank you for all of your unconditional love! And the mint chocolate ice cream was pretty awesome, too.