This blog accompanies the video that can be found here.
Change is good.
My granddaughter and I were talking about the Apostles Creed, especially the line that says: “the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting” which led her to ask, “How old would you like to be forever?”
Hmm. I thought. Oh, to be a child, again, frolicking carelessly in the fields of my hometown in Italy. That would be a great time – joyful, carefree. I had perfect health and what seemed like the perfect life. My innocence give me comfort, but my curiosity and my sense of adventure catapulted me ever so quickly into my teen years.
And I thought, my teen or early adult years were also good. They were a time of discovery. My world opened up to new opportunities, new experiences, expanded learning. But, this time also carried the challenges of insecurity, transitions, how to find my place in the world and among my peers.
Ok, well, then, what about my adult years? I had met my husband. We started a beautiful family. I had a career that I loved. But, those were the years that I lost my parents. I was challenged by my teen children as they began to wander from the nest. I was rushing from basketball games to school concerts, religion classes to school meetings, providing support for my parents as they grew older. No time to stop and smell the roses, or to appreciate the nuances of my children’s daily growth. There were personal insecurities as I began to see my youth fade away.
Perhaps, despite the wrinkles, aches and pains, I should consider my retirement years. I had time to volunteer and serve the community. My grandchildren brought me great joy and fulfillment. I began to smell the roses and appreciate the beauty of the world around me. My faith became imbedded in my daily life. Family transitioned. Some heartaches and physical challenges forced me to face my vulnerabilities and mortality. But, my perspective changed. These were not issues to fear or to limit me. I began to see them as opportunities. Opportunities to become better… I could be more compassionate and understanding to others – because now, I could empathize with the pain and limitations of others.
After some serious reflection, I responded: “The age I am now.” Yes! I am who I am because of all the experiences of my life – the good and the bad. My youth has faded visibly, but I am as young as I ever was, as curious and as eager to learn more. I feel the same joy and wonder of the simplest things. My education has spanned the decades, making me smarter (when I can remember), and giving me a deeper understanding of the gift of life and its purpose. I believe I am wiser, kinder, more generous, more available than I have ever been before. Not perfect, but the best I have ever been.
God is not finished with me, and my journey continues its seasonal changes. While I do not know what will come, I believe that, with the help of God, I will be better prepared to face the challenges and to appreciate the daily gift of life – whatever it offers.
- In what season of life are you? What does it mean for you?
- How old would you like to be forever? Why?