They say that couple as they age, begin to look more and more like each other. Maybe it’s just the wrinkles. Gets me thinking of a good line that says, “Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.” I know what it is to grow old having celebrated forty some odd years here, but sometimes I wonder what it means to grow up. Patricia still warns me to not get too carried away with my hyper personality when in a crowd of people. Guess I still need to grow up. In lots of ways we all need to keep growing up. One of my “grow-up needs” is accepting my age and not let the receding hairline get to me and even more so not let my kid’s “old” comments put an unholy fire in me. Getting old is mandatory you see. If that is the case then I want to grow old with grace and to do that God’s grace in me can never be allowed to get old. It has to stay fresh and alive even when the dwindling hairs on my head turn grey and the deepening lines around my eyes indicate where they used to twinkle.
Growing old does have one advantage though. If done right. It makes us more like our Father in Heaven. We become more patient, humble, certain about what matters and more giving.
I love the story Brennam Manning tells, it is about a boy who stares at a face carved in the mountain. The boy, it seems, is always asking tourists if they know who the granite face carved in this mountain is. No one knows. As he gets older he keeps looking at the carved face and at every opportunity and asks, “Do you know the identity of that face.” And no one does. He becomes forty, fifty and sixty until one day a tourists comes by and tells the once-young boy whom is now a weather-beaten old man, “You are the face on the mountain!” The boy, now an old man, never missed a chance to look at the face in the mountain and in the end became like the face in the mountain!
As I contemplate what I know of God the Father, and look with my mind’s eye again, and yet another time, I find myself wanting to be like Him. A silent prayer is shooting up, “Make me like you too, Father!” I think, even as I age and like my Father above, I get to keep some mystery about me, some strength, and hopefully lots of generous youthful grace. With hope I want others to say, “You, my dear old man, look like that guy the Bible talks about.”
If that could be the case, I’d be one good-looking old person!