Wednesday, December 29, 2010
One by one the facts of being middle aged are staking claims in my life. The first of these, and most profound, is that middle age occurs regardless of whether or not one has achieved any of the traditional life goals which people often set for themselves. During the immaturity of my 20’s and 30’s, I wrongly assumed that spiritual peace, financial security, and general organization of my life would evolve before I became “my parents age”. I had a preliminary epiphany when I turned 40, but at the time I was dealing with turning 40, and not even considering the larger, looming issue of becoming middle aged. Before that, when my 30th birthday flew by, I remember thinking that I wasn’t like so many other women feeling dread of the aging process per se’, but rather I was feeling disappointment in my lack of accomplishment up to that point. And so it is with me, always thinking that this me isn’t quite the me she should be!
I know a special woman who struggled to quit smoking for years. She hated everything about smoking, the smell, the expense, the stigma. Being a Christian, she struggled with smoking on a spiritual level too, thinking that this vice made her somehow substandard in her Christian walk. She had prayed many times to have the “thorn in her side” removed, but she would put the cigarettes down, and always pick them up again. Until one day, without a program or a patch or any discernable difference to any previous attempts, she stopped smoking. It’s been over 10 years now, so I’d say she was successful. But what was the difference? She says it was a God thing, and I do not want to dismiss the factor of His timing, but this woman has always been a woman of God. She has also always been a woman of personal resolve, disciplined in the other areas of her life. So something made this time different than the others. I wish to learn what that something is. We need this information, this answer.
New Years Day is approaching, and many resolutions will be made. Predictions are that most of these resolutions will fall by the wayside with the resolutions of previous years. I don’t know the winning formula, but I know every resolution has the potential to become an accomplishment. I hope that a few of mine will make that transformation this year, and in the process transform me. That “middle age” issue is weighing on my mind, so my resolutions are seasoned with a little more experience and an impending sense of urgency. It reminds me of that frequent plea of band and choral directors everywhere: “Once more, with feeling!”
Happy New Year!