I just celebrated my 50th birthday. I had a grand time and so many people were responsible for that. I chose to enjoy the celebrations and not worry so much about the big 50. But today I feel compelled to warn my younger friends. Trust me when I tell you; it all changes. I don’t mean I woke up the morning of my big day with all these drastic changes. It was gradual. To be honest it probably started happening around 40 but it didn’t start to snowball until I was closer to 50.
Before I go into the physical aspects of things, here is the MOST important information I can give you today–don’t neglect your time with God in His Word and prayer. Here is what will happen if you do:
You. The one who just can’t live on less than your nightly 8 hours. You. The one who is just not a morning person. You. The one who runs out the door without even a, “Good Morning Lord.” You. The one who can’t spend 5 minutes in prayer. You, all of you, are headed for disaster. I don’t care what you have to do. Figure it out. Find the time. Make the time. Drink an extra cup of Joe, but please, for Heaven’s sake just do it! All those sweet little prayers you pray for your kids, all those “bless me, bless them, bless their school. Those are nice, but trust me again when I say, it all changes.
Friends, this is war. War for ourselves and those we love. You are the only you that you have or that they have. Kids grow up and then you think of all the things you wished you had prayed. Suddenly they are on their own and it is not that the Lord didn’t hear and honor your sweet prayers, but maybe up all night, fervent prayer would have been better. You know, the ones for their purity, their future spouse, their mission work, their calling, their future home, the Church they will attend, that they will hear and follow God. You can’t turn back time and again I say, it all changes.
Now, for some of the physical things that you can expect:
You. All of you out there that have perfect skin, size 0 figures, soft gorgeous hair, hard nails, and eat like a bird, etc…… I am here to tell you, it all changes. You. The ones of you who don’t eat right or exercise or wear a size 0 and you keep thinking you will get in shape later. It all changes. You. The one with the metabolism that eats like a truck driver. It all changes. You. The one whose nerves never get rattled. Trust me, it all changes. You. The one with the perfect lab work at your yearly check ups. It all changes. Cholesterol can change, blood sugar levels, blood pressure. It all changes. You. The one with the perfectly compliant child who gets the star student award. It all changes. You. The one with energy all the time and can run on little to no sleep. It all changes. You. The one who runs 5 miles a day. It all changes. You. The one who volunteers for everything and does it with ease. It all changes. So, you get my point by now. IT. ALL. CHANGES.
I hear what most of you are thinking, “Rene’, you are being so worldly and superficial.” No, I am not. I am just stating the facts and I feel I am doing you all a great service that no one did for me. If you will take care of the spiritual first and the physical second, things may change but you will handle it totally differently.
All those things you say you are going to get to later like exercising and eating right. I am telling there is no time like the present. I know, I know, you are tired. You are raising kids etc…. Well, I am telling you, make the time. Find the time. Do it for your health’s sake because…..it all changes.
Fifty comes and you think of all the prayers you wish you prayed, the verses you wish you had memorized, the Bible studies you wish you took, and the lessons you wish you had taught those little ones.
Time happens and it all changes.
You regret all the junk you wish you didn’t eat, the sit ups you wish you did or the morning runs you wish you took.
Now, I am not a proponent of trying to stay forever young either. There is something good about getting older, it’s very freeing. You get comfortable in your own skin, you care less about what others think, you don’t take yourself so seriously, you speak up more often, you laugh more, you do things you want to do and you say no to the things that don’t matter. This is all good, very good in fact. But it doesn’t change the fact that it all changes.
I type this with some regrets for myself but with high hopes and dreams for you.
So, get up tomorrow and spend time with God. Set that alarm 30 minutes earlier. Pray fervent prayers for those children under your roof. Read a Psalm and a Proverb. Take that walk, drink that smoothie, put down the cookie and eat the protein bar. Sign up for the class you always wanted to take. Go to bed a little earlier, wash your face, pray before you go to sleep instead of looking at social media. And when you get up in the morning do it all again, because remember, it all changes.
Let me leave you with these words from Proverbs 31:30
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Living free, (and hoping you will too)