I understand that turning forty is not something a lot of people choose to acknowledge or announce. When we were kids and then pre-teens waiting for the years to go by so we could get our learner's permit - those were the days of celebrating the years flying by. And I'm by no means immune to the feelings of worry and dread as I witness changes as the years go on. Pounds don't come off as quickly as they used to. I have to wear reading glasses to type this. Lines and wrinkles on my face and hands make it harder to hide my years.
Then why don't I feel like hiding?
I think it's the joy of knowing that my soul is what will last eternally and I am just practicing here the purpose God has already planned for me in Heaven.
Are you hanging on to your Sunday-school view of Heaven you had as a child? The one where you were sitting on a cloud. Or maybe you were hanging out in your house made of glass enjoying your 360 views of the streets of gold. Confession: It took me until just a few years ago (and you know how old I am) to begin forcing my mind to view eternal life for what it really is. A life of purpose. So many things take on a different meaning and have a new context when viewed in the light of a realistic Heaven.
In The Purpose-Driven Life Rick Warren says that any other way of living is just existing. Before we had Glory I was just existing. I wasn't happy or sad but I knew I was missing out on something. I didn't know what it was then. I hadn't experienced true joy because I had kept my ideas of eternal life inside a very small box in my head. I was an adult with a very childish view of the Bible's message. Not until I realized that my life here was a practice run for the real thing did I experience the joy of purpose. So as I celebrate being forty years old today I am overjoyed to be living with purpose.
|One of my favorite moments during this last year in Malibu:)|
As long as we are able to see our wrinkles for what they really are - evidence of laughter. As long as we see our physical ailments in a true light - scars from living a life of purpose. As long as we acknowledge we were created "for such a time as this" (Esther 4:14)...
Forty is my beginning...
But the plans of The Lord stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations. Psalm 33:11