When the new year rolled in, I realized it would usher me into a year of many changes. One of those changes being the end of another decade of my life and the beginning of an entirely new one. I know age is just a number, but this decade is the one in which I will have the honor of becoming a senior citizen. I will soon be able to get a discount at restaurants because of my age. How nice.
I am already experiencing some of the consequences of living for a long time. Gravity and I fight for control over my skin, and some hormones have reached their life’s quoto and don’t want to contribute anymore–making the natural aging process evident in my life. Sometimes I question why I am here and wonder if I have anything left to give others. Sometimes I have caught myself feeling tired, worn out, old. I wonder if I would feel this way if life’s circumstances were different. I’ve had a difficult year, after all, full of unusually tense situations. No doubt, life seems harder now than it did in my youth.
Time keeps rolling on, and it’s now springtime. I’ve had the pleasure of watching trees bud and flowers blossom. Each colorful bloom seems to sing with joy as it radiates such beauty in its season.
In all their glory, flowers often remind me of how short life is, cautioning me to make the most of every fleeting moment. One day they are brilliantly bright. Soon, they wither and are gone, always leaving me sad in their absence. (When I was a little girl I always got so sad about Delta Dawn’s faded rose from days gone by.)
This Spring, the fading flowers taught me a new lesson. I was admiring a wisteria vine at sunset when I noticed some of its petals had already fallen to the ground. At the end of the flowers’ existence, they gleamed magnificently in the setting sun. I quickly looked up at the vine and back down at the fallen petals, realizing the dying petals were more beautiful than their fully alive sisters still hanging on the vine.
I was instantly encouraged and challenged by the example of the wisteria. Society unintentionally sends the message that aging is bad, that we somehow lose our worth as we lose our youthfulness. When someone would tease my grandfather about getting old, he would respond, “You’ve got to live to get old.” He was right.
These tiny wisteria petals, iridescent in the fading sunlight, are as magnificent as a colorful sunset. They compel me to run my race well and live a full, beautiful life, reflecting the glory of my Creator to the very end.
Jesus encouraged his followers to consider the lilies. Read His words here.