The Folly of (Trying to Retain Our) Youth

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.

1 Corinthians 13:11

Yesterday I was on Facebook (as I'm often am during the day, especially when procrastinating the actual things I need to do; I have a real problem) and realized that out of the 12 items in my highlight feed (you know; the one over on the right) 8 of them featured kids under the age of six.  Each of the kids featured belong to friends of mine.  I'm sure that in their highlight feed some item featuring the Storykins pops up pretty regularly (especially if they're also friends with Liza).  Anyway, a year ago my highlight feed would most certainly not have featured so many items about children.

Also the other day I began having a bit of a health issue.  I won't go in to details about it, at least not yet, because right now I don't know that it is anything.  But it made me immediately progress down the line of thought to where I pictured myself being wheeled around in a wheelchair hooked up to various tubes and bags.

My back hurts.  Regularly.  So does my left elbow.

I've been losing my hair for awhile now but it's only recently that I realized it was past the point of no return.  There is no amount of therapy that can help.  My hair has simply given up on life.  It's sad to watch, really.

I was reading someone's blog last night who was named one of the top 30 people under 30 in her city.  I thought, "I can never be named one of the top 30 under 30 anymore."

All of this (and some other stuff) made me feel very... not old... but... grown up, I guess.  Like for years being "grown up" is this ethereal phase of life that's out there and that you want to achieve but never really see coming.  That is until... BOOM!  POW!!  ZAP!!!  It's happened.  And when I had that thought... "I guess this is it... I'm grown up... I don't necessarily feel grown up... is this what grown up really is... or did I blow it somehow... (sigh)..." I realized that "grown up" definitely now had a negative connotation for me.  No longer was it something to be looked forward to, to strive for and achieve.  It had now become something to be mourned.

Or is it?

Late last week I was having a conversation with some friends in which the phrase "junior high sucks" was uttered.  And we were all like, "Yeah!  Junior high does suck."  And we sat around for awhile telling embarrassing stories from our own junior high experiences and laughing about how much it sucked.

Now, I know that some of you work with junior high students in schools or churches and that you love them and think the world of them and don't want to work with anyone else.  I get that, completely.  Notice that I am not saying "junior highers suck" because they don't.  But junior high?  It most certainly does.  Even those junior highers (or middle schoolers) you know who love life and everything about it right now will one day look back and realize that junior high actually, in all reality, kinda sucked (at least a little bit).

So, I was lying awake thinking last night (as I'm prone to do) and realized that though I'm "grown up" I guess. I've still got a lot of growing to do, and, from my perspective, I definitely consider that a good thing.  Not only that, but I love where I am right now.  Not everything about my life is how I expected it to be or would possibly even want it to be, but if my parts of my life weren't as they are now, would the others be.  To put it differently, would I have to lose the parts of my current life I want to keep in order to alter the ones I want to change?

Besides, junior high sucked (well, I didn't go to junior high; I attended a middle school; but middle school sucked; so did ninth grade; so, yeah, junior high sucked).  High school, in a lot of ways, sucked.  College was okay, but school was still involved, so that gains it at least a few notches on the suck-0-meter.  Now, I make my own decisions and live my own life.  Nothing is laid out for me if I don't want it to be (at least not so much as it might be pre-ordained by God).  I sure don't get it right all the time (as many of you can attest to), but I own it.

Why would I want it any different?

If I did, I'd be like those people the writer of Hebrews is addressing.  You know the ones... they want to stay on milk 'cause it's easy instead of putting in the effort and work to move on and embrace solid food (it's a metaphor for the Word of God; check it out in Hebrews 5-6).

And I hate milk!