This week I went into the bank to open a checking account. I asked my personal banker buddy what was my best deal or how much money I would need to keep in there to have free checking. He told me I could use Mike's senior checking and it would be free. I laughed as he handed me the paper that told of the benefits for that checking account. At the top it said, "senior checking, 55 and older". Then I really laughed because as I told him, in a few days I would be 55! I did not have to ride on Mike's coattail!
Today I am alive and 55! As I celebrate my birthday I am reminded how beautiful, fast, sweet and precious life is! I see life differently than a lot of people my age. Partly because I spend a lot of time with older people, partly because Mike and I buried three parents and a close grandparent within three years. But mostly because of my battle with cancer. I know that each day is a gift and I am thankful for that knowledge!
As I think about another year I am reminded of David Bowie saying, "aging is a process where you become the person you always should have been." Life would have been easier if we knew then what we know now but that is not going to happen. By our mistakes and off road paths we became who we are now. God has used them for good for those who love him.
An example of that is when I was first diagnosed and did not know if I had a month to live. I would lie in the bed at night and tell Mike things to remember to tell my family. Things that were important to me. But the most burning and continuous thought was I have not done all I needed to do for God. I had family and friends who needed to hear about God. And God expected me to be a witness for Him. One day I wanted to hear Matthew 25: 23, "‘Well done, good and faithful servant...'" That was a valuable lesson that I was blessed to learn - not everyone gets to experience that lesson.
Matthew 28: 19, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," We know how to be disciples. You may not realize but you already follow someone and they may have influence over you. There are also people that you carry a significant influence over. This happens naturally in life. To be a Christian disciple we turn the focus and fame to Jesus. We want to influence people to want to follow Jesus.
James 4: 17, "If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them." If we know we are to be disciples and we are not doing it, it is a sin! Ephesians 5: 15-16, "Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil." Making the most of our time. That does not mean coming after all of our chores, our errands, our wants, etc. I am preaching to me! And while we do not know when our time is up we do not know when Jesus is coming. Luke 12: 40, "You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
Jeremiah 29: 11, "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." God was not just talking to young people. God was not just talking to old people. God was not just talking to healthy people. God was talking to you and me! He has a plan for us. We are here for one reason and that is to enrich the Kingdom of God. Are we doing our part? Are we going to hear, "well done, good and faithful servant?
The more God becomes a part of my life the more beautiful my life becomes. Maybe it is because you begin to see Him in all situations. Maybe it is because He gets into all the cracks and crevices in your heart. Maybe it is because you start to see through His eyes. Maybe it is because you start seeing without your physical eyes and are able to see Him in creation. Maybe it is because you start hearing without your physical ears and are able to hear Him in your heart. Maybe it is because the more you know God the more you realize you need God. Maybe it is the more you study His Word the more you crave His Word. Maybe it is that He fills you with Joy! I think it is all of these things. Psalm 4: 7, "Fill my heart with joy..." Joy makes for a beautiful life. God wants to make something beautiful of your life!
Take time today to thank God for the gift of today and for the disciples He put in your life.
By the way, do you know hold old "old" is? It is always 20 years older than you are!