“. . . let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us . . . .” Hebrews 12:1 (RSV)
As we age and see the passing on of others (especially those younger than ourselves), we cannot ignore the tendency to stop and consider our own mortality. We begin to think about, and try to calculate, our remaining days and how they will end. We memorialize and celebrate every milestone, birthday, and anniversary, and wonder whether we will see another, and if so, where we are we headed from there. We waste precious time asking ourselves the question posed in the Movie, “Are we there yet?” But that question only begs other questions: Do we know where we are going? Where is “there”? Will we know when we’ve arrived? And, more importantly, why are we always in such a hurry to get “there”?
Why are we so obsessed over youth and beauty and things beyond our control? Why is it that so many of us (young and not so young) anxiously try to “capture,” “cover,” “lift,” “stretch,” “remove,” “tuck,” “staple,” and “shrink” “the hands of time,” to no avail. Wisdom should come with age, but we all know just because our hair is gray does not mean that we are wise. To understand that God is the Author and the Writer of Time, who writes it however, whenever, and wherever God wills– that’s wisdom.
I discovered years ago, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and age is only a number. Every day that I am above ground and can feel my pulse is a good day. It is another opportunity to give God my best. I am grateful for my joys as well as my pain, for both have made me grow. As a matter of fact, it was my tears and sorrows that taught me: “It is not until you have been “seasoned” by God’s Grace in the sands of life’s struggles that you become salt. And, it is only when you have matriculated in life’s “School of Suffering,” that you truly have something worth sharing!
I am in the “winter” of my years now and (for you young folk–that’s any age past 60). But I’m proud to say, “I don’t look like what I’ve been through.” I have no regrets and I am more committed today than ever to finish my course. God has never left nor forsaken me and continues to beckon me towards my destiny.
So, I am not preoccupied with my destination — I am clearly focused on my journey. Because the only thing that will matter at the end of the day is my goal: to hear my Lord say, “Well done, “good” and “faithful” servant.” Until then, I will keep “pressing towards the mark for the prize of the high calling in Christ Jesus.” I’ve got my “best” track shoes on and — I AM GOING TO RUN UNTIL I FINISH!!