So I’m not getting any younger.
I asked my grandfather one time what it feels like to be 84, and he said that his mind tells him that he’s still 18. His body, however, tells him differently. And that just fascinated me at the time because I was probably 18 when I asked him that. As I’m growing older, I understand now.
I’m not OLD, but I’m getting closer and closer to “middle-age”. And it’s not exactly a comfortable thought. In old times, people were lucky to live into their 40s. If that was the case, I’m in the sunset of my life. And if that was the case, what have I accomplished? Would I be proud of where I have been, what I have seen, and how I have lived my life? There’s a self-storage place outside of Boerne, and the owner has a brick in the window. On the brick is etched a little question, “If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?” I think I can answer that question with the best answer, but sometimes I’m not so sure.
Much like my grandfather, I still feel like a teenager. In my mind. I’ve noticed that the South Texas heat gets to me. And my kids wear me out quickly, while they can still run a marathon, or so it seems. I nap in my easy-chair while watching the news. And that freaks me out! I’m sure you “old-timers” out there will roll your eyes at my remarks, but the process of turning around and looking at one’s life, no matter what stage of that life you are in, is a frightening activity.
And while looking back at my successes and failures is one part of that review, looking at my spiritual journey is another aspect, and equally as frightening. I read the Bible about amazing things that the disciples accomplished, and have friends that have gone on mission trips around the world. Me? I go to church on Sundays, and pray with my kids. I live in a manner that is consistent as a whole to the teachings of the Bible, but I’ve got lots of bumps in my Christian walk. Is it enough?
The act of reflection as a Christian is very important. And it’s harder than you think. It takes an honesty that is difficult to offer. I must be able to a.) find the quiet time, and b.) be prepared to be honest with myself. Both of these are hard to accomplish. The reflection is one that is an opportunity for you to have the time with Christ and review your life. And in order for any of this to be productive, you must be prepared to “lay bare” your sins, and ask for Christ’s guidance. I can fumble at this point. I have excuses for everything. If I see a problem with my church attendance, it’s obviously because the kids are an absolute PAIN to get going in the morning, and so we stay home a bunch. If I treated someone poorly, it was because they had mistreated me at some point. If I am ignoring an issue that I need to address, whether personally or spiritually, it’s because I’m busy, or confused, or tired, or maybe I just don’t feel like dealing with it. Reflection is necessary, and tiring. Who wants to frequently review their actions? Once I’ve done something stupid, I’d sure like to forget about it and move on. But that doesn’t mean that I have made the changes I need to make to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
I told my wife not too long ago that as long as a person understands that there IS a problem, they are well on their way to fixing the problem. The acceptance of an issue is the hardest part, I believe. Once I’ve confessed that as I look back on the past few months, I see my church attendance (and tithing) being sub-par, I have recognized the issue, and confessed it. Now the trick is to repent, and not repeat. Ouch.
Again, we’re all getting older. I work with a kid that’s 18, and he is constantly dogging on me because my music is “sooo lame”. Sheesh. Who knew that while I was asleep, the whole world moved on, and I was time-transported to middle-age? So at this point, to look back at my 20s and early 30s, and to see the path that I have walked causes me to both shake my head, and laugh heartily. And then cry.
Take the time to talk with Christ about your life up to this point. Turn around and review the landscape. Be honest with yourself and ask for Christ’s help in your walk. You’ll find the honesty refreshing, and will bring you closer to a much more meaningful life and relationship with Christ.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.