Sunday, October 3, 2010

Growing Up

I had one of those "Aha!" moments a few days ago. It had something to do with aging and wisdom and failure and responsibility and so many things I've been thinking about in recent years. I'm still not sure how to write about it - how to get from point A to point B and have it all make sense. I'm just thinking out loud....

Not too long ago I heard a news reporter refer to a sixty-something gentleman as elderly. Elderly!! How had I suddenly gone from middle-aged (which in and of itself was a complete shock) to elderly? Perhaps the mirror really hasn't been lying.

I don't think I've ever really been comfortable inside grown-up skin. Having been married for nearly forty-four years with three children and seven grandchildren, one would have thought I would be by now, but it isn't so. There is a child heart inside of me that just refuses to acknowledge the passage of time. It is much more comfortable letting someone else do the grownup "stuff."

A few days ago, I sat at a table with a group of women who were young enough to be my daughters. As I looked at their beautiful faces, I felt the Father whisper something into my heart - something that sounded very much like, "It's time to grow up daughter."

From time to time I've gotten those letters from church asking for older women willing to mentor younger women. I've read them and told myself that I could never be a mentor. I have done too many things wrong, failed too many times, lacked enough wisdom, wasn't a mature enough Christian. I often hesitate to offer advice or to even write about some of the things I believe feeling I have not lived them out myself.

On that day the Father seemed to say that, yes, all those things (and more) are true, but He has redeemed all of those things. He went on to remind me of all the mentors He has placed in my life - at just the right time and in just the right places; of all the gifted teachers who have poured so much into my heart and mind. Even though I have not always perfectly lived out the things I know to be true and wise and right, it doesn't mean I cannot share them with someone else.

On that day, my grownup skin began to feel a bit more comfortable. I looked at those beautiful faces and knew that the Father was calling me to move to a different place. There are some callings, some responsibilities, that simply come as we enter a new season of life:

" Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips, nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be dishonored."
Titus 2:3-5