I really am forty years of age! As of about 11:00 (CDT) last night.
Someone informed me 40 was "the new 20," and I know it's the standard, quasi-encouraging line. I've heard the expression numerous times over the last few years, but you know, quite honestly, it doesn't sit well with me.
I realize it's supposed to be a way of saying the upcoming decade is something to look forward to and that this birthday isn't something to be afraid of, but to me it always says something else. To me, it embodies all too perfectly our culture's endorsement of extended adolescence ~ the newly-coined term ADULTescence. How embarrassing that we're developing a more pleasant and socially acceptable word for Peter Pan Syndrome, which always had a negative connotation. Gross.
In my opinion, there are already too many people insisting they don't need to take responsibility; don't need to grow up. I don't want to be one of those people.
Proverbs says that while strength is the glory of youth,
grey hair is a crown of splendor for the old.
Because it is attained by a righteous life.
I'd prefer to do it without physically aging, sure, and I don't necessarily want additional responsibilities, but I don't want to quit growing older either. I don't want to quit learning. I don't want to quit growing wiser. I don't want to quit changing. Because, dang it, I want that crown!! I am today what I have been in the process of becoming over the past 40 years. Forty years from now, I will be the product of what I have been continuing to become.
Someday, I want to be one of those cute little ol' blue-hair ladies with a twinkle in my eye, peppermints in my purse, and a ready hug, prayer, Scripture, and/or encouraging word for everyone. I want to be one of those women who people just ASSUME will cut to the chase and ask the important, sometimes uncomfortable questions. I want to be one of those little old ladies who can get away with it because there is NO DOUBT I care deeply for the person to whom I'm posing the question. I want my friends and family to come to EXPECT me to quote Scripture as a regular part of conversation. "That's just the way she is," I want them to be able to say. Even if they roll their eyes when they do it.
But I will be none of those things if I'm not already working at becoming them. I won't wake up 40 years from today and suddenly be a godly, generous, sweet 80-yr old lady. Oh, I'll be 80 all right!! But sweet? Godly? Those don't come naturally, my friend, especially as we get older and our bodies start to fail us.
Forty isn't twenty. (thank goodness)
Forty isn't thirty. (though I sometimes wouldn't mind rolling back the clock a few years, at least for a few hours...)
Forty is forty.
Which means I'm that much closer to my goal! (Well, AGE-wise, anyway!! ;)