I’m writing this at the age of 28 years old. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve started doing this thing when it gets close to my birthday. I’ll randomly say aloud, “I’m 28.” (Or whatever age I am at the time). I think a part of me is nervous about getting older and another wants to try to remember exactly how it feels to be that age. In a strange way, verbalizing my age helps me feel focused. It makes me feel focused on the present, challenged by the future, and motivated by my past.
Stubbornness and diligence are two of my strongest characteristics. Stubbornness is a family trait and diligence is something I’ve always hoped to exhibit, as it is the very definition of my name. But being driven has become a huge part of my makeup in the last ten years of my life as well. There are so many things that I hope to be able to accomplish and so many places I long to traverse. Sometimes, if I look too far ahead of where I am, I feel overwhelmed. So, I try to focus my mind on being present in the present. My Granddaddy always used to say, “Life is short, even at it’s longest.” The fact that my Daddy only lived to be age 50 is the greatest driver in my life. I don’t want to waste the time that God has given me upon this earth no matter how long or short it may be. I want it to be jam-packed with adventure, love, friends I’ve collected along the way, stories, and impact for the Kingdom of Christ.
I want to be that good kind of tired at the end of my days. You know, like when you’ve had a long day’s work, but know that things you were investing your time and energy in were worthy of the exhaustion you feel. I want to be like my 90 year old Mimi, who has had all of the things I mentioned that I want and is finally admitting that she is tired, but doesn’t mind much because she knows her time has been well spent. Like Mimi has done with us, I want to sit in my rocking chair and tell stories of God’s faithfulness to my grandchildren, of all the places He’s taken me and of the people He’s brought into my life while writing my piece of His Story.
I turn 29 on Thursday. I have no idea what sort of a mile marker this is in my life. For all I know, it could mark a third of my life, the halfway post, or even then end of my days. Only God knows that. “All the days for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” (Psalm 139:16) But you know what I can do about the days that I have remaining in my life bank? I can make each one count. “Teach us to number our days aright; that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12) I’m bound to mess up along the way…in all probability quite a bit. There’s nothing that can change the fact that I am a flawed human by my own nature. But through the power of Christ, I can gain a heart of wisdom that shows me what is worthy of capturing my time each day I’m given as I am transformed into who He intended me to be from the start.
What’s the best way to gain a heart of wisdom? By taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Every action I take is preceded by a thought from my brain. My aim is to lasso those notions and check them against what God’s Word says before I decide to invest my time in them. By doing this, my heart will grow wiser and wiser as it becomes more in tune with God’s direction for my story. He’s the author. I’m just one of His characters.
This last year of my 20’s is just as good as any to keep living out what The Author and Perfector of my faith…my story… has in mind for me. So with that, I’ll wish myself a, “Happy Birthday,” because it’s happy indeed. It’s happy because my Creator has filled it with hope, promise and the challenge to be a good kind of tired by the time I reach the final page He pens for my life.