When I was a kid I would sometimes wonder what my life would be like when the year 2000 came around. I’ve done that now – no big deal. I can also remember wondering what my life would be like when I officially hit the ripe old age of sixty-five.
Welp… here we are … now I know. Turns out sixty-five feels much like sixty-four did, except for the extra year of experience.
These days I am feeling my age. I get up before the sun starts its day and I go to bed about the time the rest of you eat supper. I am retired, arthritis lurks in my shoulders, and I use noisy machines to cut grass and shovel snow. I get the flu shot in the fall, wear a hat when I’m outside, and the floor seems farther away than it used to be.
The good news is that I’m still in good
shape health, still handsome happy, and still mentally sharp capable.
Apparently the federal government cares about me because they are going to send money each month just because I had this birthday. On the other hand they call it ‘old age pension’ which totally sucks all the joy out of it. I was so upset by this that I considered sending the money back until I realized it would involve government paperwork.
Regrets? I guess I have a few.
I wish I had spent more time being more present with my family.
I wish I had looked at the world with wider eyes, enjoyed more beauty, pet more dogs, listened more closely to harmonies.
I wish I had understood earlier that stuff is just stuff.
I wish I had learned sooner to love learning, to enjoy the subtle colours, to speak gently about Jesus.
I should have spent less time looking sideways at the bad and more time seeing with eyes of love.
I wish I had spent less time in church and more time living the life it told me about.
But honestly, the regrets are thin – it takes a lifetime to learn those lessons, so I haven’t done so badly.
At this stage of life we begin to realize we are not as wise as we used to be. I used to know right, wrong, how people should be, and I had the answers to back it up. Nowadays I am more mellow, understand how complicated life is, and you will have to work hard to pull advice out of me. I would rather walk with you than tell you where to go.
You know what else has happened later in life? I like me. Just as I am, the way I was created, the way I have come to be. That in itself is a gift.
Now that I think about it, life has been good in spite of the rough patches. I have experienced that, in the big picture, God eventually makes everything okay. That is what God does: healing; darkness to light.
Even in this time of viruses, economic uncertainty, political upheaval, and hatred, I am more convinced than ever that darkness will not overcome. And that Light will win.
Actually, Julian of Norwich heard from Jesus so I should let her say it for me:
In my folly, before this time I often wondered why, by the great foreseeing wisdom of God, the onset of sin was not prevented: for then, I thought, all should have been well. This impulse [of thought] was much to be avoided, but nevertheless I mourned and sorrowed because of it, without reason and discretion.
But Jesus, who in this vision informed me of all that is needed by me, answered with these words and said: ‘It was necessary that there should be sin; but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.’
These words were said most tenderly, showing no manner of blame to me nor to any who shall be saved.
I didn’t blow out any candles on a six-five birthday cake but I’m pretty sure I have more birthdays ahead of me. Anyway, I’d much rather spend it reminding you that all shall be well.