So…. I celebrated a birthday not too long ago and received one of those 'wake-up call' gifts: neck cream (can and should a husband really give this?) This was not just 'you-smell-nice' neck cream, but the heavy duty stuff that is supposed to tighten the skin and fill crevices. I thought it was an odd and insulting gift because that particular part of me is not jiggling all that much - at least not as much as other parts - and I was not yet aware of needing neck cream. Besides… I wear a lot of turtlenecks.
This said neck cream has made me think a bit.
It's true: I am aging… and sagging… and bulging...
Maybe you are, too...
We are aging, but maybe that's not a bad thing…
And I'm willing to bet, because we are aging, we're not as stupid as we used to be.
John and I raise a lot of roses in our back yard; about a hundred rose bushes produce about a thousand blooms between May and October. We have all colors from pinks (my favorite) to oranges (John's favorite), reds (everyone's favorite), one blue-ish tinted (nobody's favorite) and one white (why bother?) Ninety-five percent of our blooms are so beautiful and so perfect and so full of color that I pick and arrange them into bouquets to surprise unsuspecting receivers. The perfect blooms are too beautiful to leave in the garden where the sun and wind destroy the petals. In such elements as our lovely Iowa summers so often provide, a perfect rose will remain brilliant about a day before it explodes and starts to fade and whither.
Once the rose fades, it droops and drops its petals and something else appears: rose hips!
I've never really noticed the rose hips until this past December. Look at these beauties! These hips are created to last! Bring on the rain, sleet, snow, 50-mph winds, blizzards, anything… and these hips keep being big, red and beautiful.
Those hips are meant to age and last. The bloom was gorgeous but lasted a short time. Both the blooms and the hips are beautiful, but only the hips are built to last.
And it's not lost on me that even roses have 'hips'… and they become big and beautiful… and dare I say, voluptuous?
So take a lesson from the beautiful rose: take heart and keep on getting older, equipped with some strong determination! We are meant to age and get smarter and get wiser and handle life better - even when the storms of life batter us around. We can handle it, knowing God is on our side and is always faithful and sure. His hand is upon us, preparing us to handle whatever comes our way.
Job 12:12 says, "Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?"
Yes! I answer! It's a good thing!
So... I will slather on my gifted neck cream (does it really defy gravity?) and cheer on its protein tighteners… It's time to celebrate life and aging.
I will continue to abide in God and produce fruit. I've gathered years of experience in learning how God operates and know He is always good. I will worship and pray and commit to God's marching orders. There is much to do and many people who need help; I will continue until my last breath.
There is nothing else I'd rather do.
Aging is a gift well worth a celebration. Don't you agree?