Doing a little simple contemplative reminiscing here…
Sowing wild oats and youthful pranks may bring a smile at remembering them, but I really don’t “miss” them as in, wow, I wish I could be doing that again. In the present “last third” of my life I have been blessed with far, far greater Godly gifts and goodness which one can sometimes take for granted, without thoughtful reflection.
I’m honestly happy with seeing myself as an “Elder” instead of “elderly” or a “senior” (except when it comes to senior discounts at Dairy Queen [smile] ).
What brings me the most purpose and pleasure now is to discern, share, and contemplate Godly wisdom and insights from a lifetime of not only study but experience. That and to love my family whenever and wherever possible!!! These things bring a deep current of joy that is unsurpassed by all the former things I considered “fun” or as things my life depended on.
The things that bring happiness in life change as we go through various experiences which mature us – hopefully. Our perspectives need to change with them. That is humility; that is surrender. We finally see that we are not the one in charge of the universe.
“Middle age” is successfully navigated if we learn that what we “miss” about being 20 needs to be either relinquished at 40 if it didn’t work out, or else undergo a metamorphosis into another form. At that point, if we go around trying to be “cool”, what instead results is the appearance of a fool.
Let’s say it like it is here – the old guys you see going around in a sports car at 60 trying to be a chick magnet might better serve themselves, their family, and the good of all concerned in life, if they stayed home seeking how to be better husbands. Frankly this goes for the gals too who are youth obsessed and cannot let go of what is subject to the futility of the universe, destined to change and pass away.
What I’ve experienced is that life comes to us in approximately three thirds: age 0-30 youth, 30-60 middle age, and 60 to “whatever” that characterizes Eldering (or the home stretch). There seem to be distinct changes of priority and characteristics with each of these phases, give or take a few years. It’s good to have that awareness, so that when the time comes, we can embrace what is and release what was, or what needs to morph into something else more suitable for the present, as far as our interests go and the energy we have to handle it. Carrying the excess baggage of the past can weigh us down and rob us of presently being robust! For God is present every step of the way, not just the “good times” of the past per our ego’s definitions.
What may have been “missed opportunities” when we were 20 may actually result in God’s better direction for our life’s Highest Good, which is always what is best. We have to trust Him, and dare I suggest, not perceive ourselves as “victimized” by circumstances. We cannot go around regretting and trying to resurrect what’s gone, or the turns we’ve taken along the way. In a lot of cases those things simply take a different form and direction, just because that’s how it works out under Divine Providence. Everything is subject to change, often in the form of circumstances beyond our control. God works through darkness, not just sunshine, to bring us into our needed transformation into His “suns”.
So the important thing is this: to acknowledge and express gratitude each step of the way, for God is ever present and will reveal His Good if we ask to perceive it and acknowledge by faith that it is here and now.