One of the first Matt Chandler sermons I remember listening to was about diversity in the church. The main thought was that the gospel reaches all types of people, and therefore, churches should reach all peoples. The one thing Chandler said that stuck out to me was that it’s important to have young people and old people because faith basically retards without both. The church needs the young because they are enthusiastic and passionate, and it needs the old because there’s a calm steadfastness that comes from having lived through crises before.
Proverbs 20:29 says, “The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.”
I totally have gray hairs that I have trouble accepting as my splendor. I used to dye those bad boys, but I’ve grown old enough to view the purchase of hair dye as frivolity… so I pluck them.
And I have pimples. It’s evidently been five years since I’ve had an appointment with the dermatologist, and his office just informed me that I have to make an appointment if I want them to renew my prescription.
Those two physical flaws combine for an unfair combination in which I have neither the benefits of age nor youth… which reflects my current character situation as well; I’m neither truly wise, nor unbridled; I’m neither experienced nor innocent; I’m neither old nor young.
But I want to be both.
I’m currently really encouraged by the things God is doing in my life because I think I’m growing in steadfast calm and wisdom, but I’m a little afraid that I’m losing my enthusiasm and passion. I know that there must be a way to retain both, but it feels an awful lot like we get to be one or the other.
I haven’t written much about it, because I had an odd sense of fear about announcing it and making it official, but I’ve put an offer on a house. It’s a short sale out in the suburbs. It has four bedrooms, two baths, and it’s the kind of house a person raises a family in. I don’t have a family to raise, but I’m fully and finally submitting to my desire to settle down and have a family.
I admit it.
I want that.. I haven’t always wanted it, and it still scares the hell out of me, but I definitely want my schedule to be the same every week. I want to get a dog , go to the library, and plan out my meals for an entire week before I buy groceries.
I’ve always thought of aging well as something that 55-yr-olds should worry about as they get closer to that senior discount, but I’m beginning to realize how important it is throughout an entire life. I’ve read a ton of blog posts and books in the last couple of years about extended adolescence and how damaging it is to the family. I’ve experienced the disappointment that comes along with standing in front of a young man who really should grow up. He was the man who Paul wrote to in 1 Corinthians 3, when he stated, “I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, for you are still of the flesh.”
I don’t want that to describe me.
And while I’m very smart, and think I’ve consistently sought a deeper understanding of the word than average Jane, I wonder if I wasn’t seeking milky experiences as I lived out my life. World travel, coffee shop ministries, and passionate engagement are wonderful and necessary, but they also provided me with instant gratification. They fed me quickly, without much effort on my part, which sounds a lot like drinking milk from a bottle. Solid food sounds a lot more like making mortgage payments every month, attending church even though I’m not getting a lot out of it right now, and staying put.
What do you think?
Settling down seems like solid food that I’ve refused to eat for a bit. What solid food do you struggle to swallow?