“Forty is the
old age of youth,
fifty is the
youth of old age.”
These words of Victor Hugo came to mind today as I was working on a new song for a Christmas project.
Each time I step up to the microphone I realize I’m no longer a skinny little 10 year old standing in front of the mirror singing into a hairbrush. Childhood fantasies become realities when you jump at opportunities.
I wrote my first song at age 50 after crying out to God in despair. My children’s childhoods had officially come to an end. Both are now adults making their own choices and living out their own dreams. The time had come for me to find my way back to mine.
Being in the youth of old age means that I can look ahead and know that the time is short. And at the same time I can look back and benefit from lessons that only experience can teach.
The benefit of looking back is found in a few of the lessons learned along the way.
1. Life is short, it’s up to you to make it sweet.
Each one of us is responsible for our own lives. God has a plan and a path for each one of us. There are times when He will use someone else to open a door or provide a helping hand. But, He expects each one of His children to pick up their own spoon and taste Him for themselves. My husband’s favorite baked treat is cinnamon rolls but mine is sweet potato pie. If I eat from his plate I’m not getting the sweetness I crave, I have to accept what he’s chosen.
2. Life is hard, but God is good.
The New Testament makes it clear that we will have troubles in this world. But, we can take heart and have the courage to face whatever comes our way because Jesus overcame every weight that has the power to hold us back from the life God designed for us.
3. Life is not a competition, it’s about connection.
Each one of us has our own race to run. Social media causes us to criticize, compete & compare. We have a tendency to compare our worst to someone else’s best. All of those activities are distractions that can lead us to veer out of our own lane. We must connect with what God has gifted us to do and not with someone else’s calling.
I wrote a song last year that I thought would be perfect for this Christmas project I’m currently working on with my friend Mervin. He writes songs that get people to jump up and down. I confess that I have compared myself to him. I even tried to put together a song similar to his style but I fell short. My husband listened to it and didn’t get it. It wasn’t me and I had to let it go.
I have a new song coming out near the end of the month. It’s a reggae worship song. I remember telling a dj about it and she said, “sometimes you want to move from side to side instead of jump up and down”. Since that conversation I’ve noticed that each time I’ve performed the reggae song I see people swaying side to side! Her words opened my eyes.
Serving God should not be a competition.
If we connect with God, with ourselves, and with others, we can all move forward in cooperation with one another.
Mervin and I both have goals of pointing others to God. And we’ll be more successful in reaching our goals through connecting and cooperating with one another.
I’m grateful for the lessons He’s given to me. What lessons have you learned from Him?