Thirty-One and Milking It

Yesterday I turned 31. 

I can now officially say that I am “thirty something.”  So when someone asks my age I can wink and say, “thirty . . . something.”  My coyness will make them think that I am at least 38 or 39.  Thereby ensuring that  people will talk about how great I look . . . for my age.

I am now officially more than twice the age of the average kid in my husband’s youth group.  So when the youth of today seek my advice; I can sigh deeply, run my fingers along my jaw line and say, “when I was your age . . . ” They will see me as old and wise, instead of just old and unable to master the iphone. 

When people scoff at me, “what are you . . . like thirty.”  I can reply that I am actually in my thirties.  A status which, having now experienced a full year of my thirties, will explain away all of my problems.  Weight gain:  I hit thirty and my metabolism went on strike.  Memory loss:  my mind just isn’t what it was in my twenties.  5k pace not what it used to be:  I’ve passed my speed prime and am adjusting to the endurance years.  You name it:  bad mood, that single black chin hair, losing my keys twenty times a day, talking about when a cup of coffee used to cost 99 cents . . . all explained by a year spent in a new decade.

Really, I just plan on taking full advantage of 31. 

You see, I don’t really understand the attitude people have about aging.  As though every year gained only marks life lost.  Almost daily someone looks down at me and warns that “some day, I will regret all the running and boot camp, and squat jumps.”  I just don’t see it that way.  I want to take advantage of whatever my body is capable of in each year of my life.  Sure that capability will change with age, but why not enjoy the limits whatever they are. Sure it’s probably time to stop shopping in the juniors department, and I may have to take up stock in lip balms and moisturizers.  But I don’t think I have to live less, just differently.

Too often, people view maturing  and growing in faith the same way they view aging and maturing physically.  As though to grow and conform to the image of Christ is all about life lost.  The thinking is that to follow the tenants of faith is to lose personal freedom, individual identity, your unique perspective.  In fact the opposite is true.

Christ  told his followers to pursue growing in Him.  To seek a deeper understanding  of the person and words of Christ, the character of God, the power of His spirit.  In so doing they do not lose their life, but gain their fullest potential (true freedom, intense purpose, undeniable meaning).  There are no regrets in maturing spiritually.  A life lived in constant pursuit of God truly does get better with age.

Take full advantage.

you have to be at least as old as I am to understand this picture

Mark 8:35 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.