God, in His infinite wisdom, is proving to me, once again, that He has this all figured out. There’s a reason we aren’t made to have both the benefits of youth and the wisdom of aging at the same time.
As I see all these picture of high school and college graduations, I can’t help but notice the beauty of youth. All of these young people with their broad smiles, fresh faces, and firm bodies. Bodies that, in general, haven’t yet shouldered big burdens, given life to babies, held aging parents, or even fought gravity for very long. Strong, flexible, perky, energetic bodies that feel like they have the world by the tail.
Young and beautiful.
At the same time, I see my reflection in the mirror, and pictures of friends with their graduating children and grandchildren. All beaming with pride. And while the skin is not as fresh and the smiles show the wear of age, there is a deep wisdom- a knowing.
It’s as if while our hair grays, our hearts grow. Our hips expand right along with our expanding compassion. Our stomachs soften, and so do our hearts. It’s perhaps the costs of doing life.
When you experience many blessings and much loss, there will always be marks. Like a sidewalk that swells in the heat and shrinks in the cold, we have cracks and creases to show for our many seasons of life.
I try to imagine those 20 year old bodies with 40 year old wisdom. And God knew better!! He knows that we might never discover our need for Him, as we would be too busy believing ourselves goddesses and kings, superheroes and invincible forces. With the energy to take on the world, and the feeling that we all knew how to improve it, there would be constant unrest.
So in my moments of reflection, thinking how nice it would have been to have “known” back then, I realize this natural order of things is really in our best interest. It keeps us safe from ourselves.
And besides, if my 20 year old self didn’t make all those mistakes (& memories), I wouldn’t have gotten all this wisdom in the first place. It’s best that we earn; too bad we have to earn it the hard way!