We each have our own particular response when we think about our ages, right?
When my age starts messing with My Happy Place it’s as though my drive down a simple, picturesque country road is rudely interrupted by a flashing neon storm warning sign sitting on a post in the ditch. It threatens my calm, relaxed journey. The message that glares at me?
Life is passing you buy!
You have not done enough.
You’re almost out of time.
You sure have made a lot of mistakes.
Within moments it feels like the heavens part, the rain is dumped, and I’m wondering if I have Noah’s number filed under Flood or Brave Man. My carefree country road turns into a very slippery, deep, mud puddle where it’s way too easy to get stuck. I mean really stuck. My wheels spin, dirt and mud splatter, and everything looks dark and…muddy. I’m instantly reminded of all the muddy ruts I’ve gotten stuck in over a lifetime. I feel old, and I wonder if all the storms and mud pits have messed my life up too much for me to make a difference.
But here’s what I’ve learned.
In those moments, when I stop feeling sorry for myself, turn on my wipers, and take my eyes off the neon sign, my view changes.
Looking back with clearer vision…
I got out of the mud. Every time.
For 58 years, I have always gotten unstuck. I have found the planks of wood that I could put under my tires. Strong planks that gave me traction and got me out of the mud pit.
My wood planks have names:
Sometimes when we are feeling old, or we’ve become focused on what could have been/what should have been, we need to remember all the times we found the planks, and remember the times we got out of those muddy ruts. All the times when we learned to make better decisions. All the times when God met us right where we were at.
So you made mistakes?
Yup. We all did.
There is nothing God will not forgive us for.
Cut that neon sign down right now. This minute.
You are loveable. God has called you by your name.
Your body and mind and spirit are feeling worn out and weary?
Ask God to meet you with the strength that you need to refresh your soul and muscles.
And create the space to take a nap.
Your past is your past.
The good, the bad, and the ugly are covered by God’s grace and mercy.
Let’s not let the could have’s and should have’s keep us from living life today, OK?
Let’s cut down those neon signs.
Let’s find our planks.