Yesterday, on February 7th, I turned 36 years old. For some reason, turning 36 has hit me hard. Maybe, for the first time, I really sense that time is shortening. I no longer have that sense of, "Well, I can just do it later," or, "Well, we'll see how things work out in time. What's a couple years, if things don't work out?" Time is starting to have more value to me as I see my youth slipping away.
Thirty-six years old isn't old. I know there are probably older people out there reading this and chuckling to themselves. But my skin is starting to show its age -it doesn't slap back into shape when pulled on. I see more wrinkled and smile lines. I have much less hair than I did at twenty-six. Stress seems to take a greater toll on me than it did in the past.
But I'm thinking this is a good thing. I think it is a good thing to start to think about why I procrastinate or why I wait so long and hold on so long to things, waiting for something to pan out better at some point in the future. Both of those assume a lot. They assume that my time is either endless or not valuable.
I can no longer hide behind the truth of God's sovereignty. I discussed this in a post a few days ago. God's sovereignty does not imply that we live life passively. It never has and never will. Am I taken by the waves of life, using the idea that "God is in control" as a crutch to avoid actively engagine life, or am I standing on my own two feet and prayerfully charting my own course and making my own decisions and walking and moving and living?
Can I look back at the last ten years of my life with pride in what I have accomplished? Can I look back and feel good about the decisions I have made? Can I look back and say, "I did not waste it?"
I want to be able to say that ten years from now. I want to be able to say that on the day when I take my last breath. I want to be able to look back and know that I did not waste it. Regrets? Sorrow and pain? I don't know how you can live in this world and not have any of those. But I think there may be little worse than the harrowing, hollow feeling of knowing that you may have skirted by in life through avoidance and playing it safe, or that you may have, on the opposite extreme, done everything you ever wanted at the expense of those who love you, leaving a train wreck in your rear-view mirror, but that you may just stand there some day very soon and realize you wasted your life.