After 51 years, I’m starting to notice a pattern. Every so often, when life changes up a bit or I’m going through a rough patch, I find reasons why I should be disqualified. Not disqualified from salvation, but disqualified from engaging – from signing up and showing up. From entering the race, our “human race” – our corporate daily doings from sun up to sundown. I can run MY race, I just don’t think I have what it takes to enter into yours, and yours, and yours… So I disqualify myself.
It’s easy to do. Just add the word “too” to anything about you. I’m too shy, I’m too tired, I’m too insecure, I’m too needy, I’m too sensitive, I’m too awkward, I’m too divorced and too remarried,… and now entering the arena: I’m too old.
Yes, I have had to work through all those too’s. Some I have worked through better than others. But the new guy in town is old age. In my silly mind I am entering the world in which what I have to say and who I am is no longer important. Well, I do mix words up… I forget stuff… I would rather take a nap… I resist changes in culture and music… my face and body have changed (and not in good ways)… surely this means I’m (gulp) too old to engage in a world much brighter and shinier than I am.
Lies, lies, lies. I’m calling it all lies.
As I’m sure I’ve heard before but passed over because it didn’t apply to me at the time, there is no age requirement for running the race. There is no memory requirement. There is no beauty requirement. There is no coolness requirement. There is no “relevance” requirement. If you are breathing air, you’re in.
It’s going to be a pride bashing event, I can tell you that. Engaging means being willing to say stupid stuff sometimes, to show up with my wrinkles and gray hair, to stand next to those more put-together than I am. It’s going to mean letting go of a lot of crap I held on to before, because I thought it made me qualified and important.
If we live long enough, all those things that we used to hold on to so we could feel good about ourselves are going to go up in smoke. And all that will be left is us. You. Me. Where do you go with it? Where do I go with it? Do I hide away, like Moses when he face stopped shining from being with God? Do you hide so no one can see your glory fading?
I’m asking myself as well as my friends. How do we live this part of our lives? How do we love others and ourselves well? Lord willing, we’ll have decades of figuring it out. But one thing I know, we are not disqualified from this race. We are called to it.
Thanks for reading.