Today’s Scripture — 11.24.2014
Seventy years are given to us! Some even live to eighty. But even the best years are filled with pain and trouble; soon they disappear, and we fly away. – Psalm 90:10
Lydia turned 13 a week ago. All the things about getting older have been coming true. I have to close my eyes tight to remember how it felt to strap her into a car seat, or to lift her from the crib. We’ve walked a long stretch of life since those early days, when I charted every feeding, every body function, every diapering on a piece of paper. I hummed a lullaby to her every night, same song again and again, while rubbing a thousand endless rings into her back. There were the endless loads of laundry, the feverish nights, the unexplained crying, the same books read and re-read. It was all the same, day in, day out, and day in again.
It’s true what they say, about the days going slow and the years going fast.
Time is a greedy thing, gobbling up minutes.
At her birthday party, Lydia stood in a ring of girls and tossed her head back. Her hair ran in brown ribbons down her back. She and her friends were all squinty with laughter, turning into each other, so full and happy and alive. I stood in the doorway and watched my daughter. She looked like a little woman.
There goes the girl.
The years disappear, the psalmist told us. And birthdays always remind us just how much.
Birthdays also remind us that we’re just passing through, on our way to somewhere else, to a forever place.
My friend Diane sent a photograph to me the other day, saying she liked my smile. I first noticed the lines around my eyes, not in a resentful way, but in a matter-of-fact way. In the photo, I see a life-lined face, grooved and creased by millions of moments that made me who I am. I see that I am getting older, and I don’t fear it. My only fear would be not really living the life I’d been given. The tragedy would be allowing years to disappear in a fog of disappointment or drudgery, with no way to recover the beauty — which was always present, but passed by, unnoticed.
This is me, leaning into the rest of the years I’ve been given.
I haven’t always leaned into my life. I’ve abandoned myself to the urges to be something more, something other.
But you know, that was a big waste of time. We won’t get into that here today. I wrote a whole book about the dangers of trying to be someone you’re NOT. And I want to get on with my point here. Which is this:
I’ve got to spend the rest of my days living my life, or it won’t get lived. Same goes for you. You are the only you there is. What truth is your life-lined face speaking, about who you are?
Look, I don’t mean to get morbid here, but young or old, there’s one common trait uniting us — we’re terminal. On the big screen of eternity’s theater, our lives are microscopic blips.
I want my wee little blip on the screen to blink boldly for a King, before it flickers out. I want to pay attention, love well, lay down my own desires, and make daily decisions that match up with my beliefs. I want to reach out, lean in, look up, and bow down. I want to breathe more deeply, see more beauty, make more room at the table, learn more from the Teacher, and pass more of the good stuff onto my people.
I don’t know how this all ends, but when it comes down to the last moments, I don’t want to say, “Oh, how time flew.” I want to exclaim to my people, “Look! Look, how we learned to fly!”
This post is part of our month-long series, “A November to Remember: Seeing Yourself Through God’s Eyes.
How You Can Be a Part of This Movement:
1 – Print out the Scripture sheets. (Click here for printable versions.) Each of the 30 daily Scriptures are quoted in Love Idol, and each one ties back in some way to our identity in Christ. (You don’t have to read the book to participate in this study. But of course, you’re welcome to!
2 – Find the passage assigned for today’s date.
3 – Consider how God is speaking to you. How does the verse help you remember who you really are, outside of all the cultural noise?
4 – Visit us on the blog, or the Love Idol movement page on Facebook, to share what the verse means to you.
5 – Share your insights on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or your blog, to add more soul to your scroll. #MoreSoulLessScroll
Tag me, so I can find you. (Or feel free to follow along silently! No social-media presence required.)
I’ll post my own response here on the blog every morning at 5 a.m. Sometimes, you’ll find a story, maybe a few short words, maybe a series of photos. That will happen every day, for all of November, God-willing.
If you want to follow along, visit us here every day. Consider subscribing to my blog by clicking here to get these reflections in your email inbox.
Let this be the November that we remember who we really are: Loved. Preapproved. His.
Find all the posts in the November to Remember series by clicking here.