It's official - I'm pretty sure 34 years old = Mid 30 range. No more saying I just turned 30 (like you just left the 20's) - No more saying I'm in my early 30's. Nope I'm in the middle...and in another year or so I'll be crossing over the land into late 30's. I've noticed lately that I've been thinking of things that have never crossed my mind before - for example - I've found myself in the drugstore perusing the wrinkle cream section. One day I looked in the mirror and noticed lines on the side of my eyes! It could have been a sleepless night with an infant that caused these little lines or the more likely cause is I'm getting older!
I'm not sure I believe the hype of the old saying "You get wiser as you get older" - many days it just seems I'm slipping farther into the abyss of conformity... its easy - it doesn't take much brain power to do it - no one will think I'm weird - I'm tired. All the many excuses to remain in the comfort of what I know and too afraid to risk because failure looms on the other side. This has been in my thoughts all year and I do believe God keeps bringing it up in my life for a reason. Anytime I'm alone and all is silent (which is a rare event in my life these days) - God begins to show me how truly fearful I have been to step out of my warm comfy place. I was reading today in my new Brennan Manning Book (Souvenirs of Solitude) about this very idea of failure. Brennan writes, " Each of us pays a heavy price for our fear of falling flat on our faces. It assures the progressive narrowing of our personalities and prevents exploration and experimentation. As we get older, we do only the things we do well. There is no growth in Christ Jesus without some difficulty and fumbling. If we are going to keep on growing, we must keep on risking failure throughout our lives."
Wow - I'm so challenged by those words and I feel like a scared little child when I think about "risking failure". My mind immediately goes please Lord don't let me be a failure as a mother, please don't let me fail as a wife, and please don't let hardship interfere with me looking good to the outside world. Those thoughts are so absurd - so lifeless - so empty and if the truth be known I fail at these things hourly - the difference might be NO ONE really Knows! Ha! Not unless you are secretly hiding in my house somewhere.
So here's to year 34 - may you be dependent enough on Jesus to live fully -to do away with laziness, looking good, feeling good, and snuggling up to a boring existence where you don't risk - experiment - and love fully.
Here's a prayer written by Nikos Kazantzakis:
I am a bow in your hands, Lord.
Draw me, lest I rot.
Do not overdraw me, Lord. I shall break.
Overdraw me, Lord, and who cares if I break?