Had a great typo on the screen tonight at church. While singing "Song of Hope" during the worship service, the line came up "All things new, I can start aging." If you're not familiar with the song (great song by the way) it should be "I can start again." It may be a typo, but thinking about it, there's something about the typo that, for me, rings pretty true.
I think I've said all this before, but I struggled quite a bit with turning 30. 40 wasn't so bad, but as 50 approaches I find myself really embracing the years ahead. Aren't we supposed to dread those decades more as they come instead of less? So what's different?
When I turned 30, I'd dropped out of the ministry already and was really struggling with a lack of direction in my life. Something about being 30 means you're really an adult now and there's this feeling you should really be establishing yourself in life. I suppose it's all that stuff about how you're supposed to be successful, yet here I was struggling to just make ends meet. I think I was discouraged with where my life was, where it was going, with how I wasn't doing what I thought I'd be doing in my life. Turning 30 was a sort of exclamation point on this feeling of failure.
What is really different now has a lot to do with how my faith has really renewed in the last several years. Okay, honestly I'm not so sure it's about my faith, that kind of sounds like "I got better." I'm still, like all the rest of us, a broken person who's pretty lost on my own. Maybe what's different is coming to terms with God's grace, starting to understand that God's really not sitting there waiting for me to screw up yet again so he can rub my nose in it. I've started to see him instead looking at me saying I've got something better for you. It's not really anything about me, but maybe just finally starting to understand what He's wanting for me, and perhaps starting to let Him take care of my life instead of trying to handle everything about it myself.
I preached it for a number of years, but it's just taken this long to start to understand more personally what is meant by God making all things new.
So yeah, like the song says, I can start again. And there's something amazing about starting again. Now there's something about life to be enjoyed, in fact to be treasured. I'm finding a sense of purpose. And that's why it seems appropriate to me that, with all things new, I can start aging. Being in my late 40's is every okay. Turning 50 is not something I dread, but embrace. I hope I can feel the same about 60, 70 and beyond. Life is something to be enjoyed because there's something even more incredible ahead. Hope and anticipation become very real.
I've screwed some things up pretty badly in my life. If I were to dwell on it, there's a lot I could regret about what I've done. I cannot ever undo the hurt I've caused and cannot try to pretend that my attitudes, actions and decisions didn't wreak havoc at times in lives of others. Maybe the best way to say it is, I wish I had done a number of things differently over the years. But I did them, and I can't change that. But I guess what's different now is that I know that through Christ, through God's mercy, I do know that He makes all things new. I don't have to live in the past. My future is no longer seen through a rear view mirror. All things are new. Life is pretty darn good. I can start aging, and actually find myself looking forward to it.