It is what it is. Go for it!
You are where you are and when you are. Many of us spend our days and energy either trying to fast-forward our life clock or hit the re-wind button and go back again. The here and now is, however, the most significant reality in this life. Learning to live it is a discipline of grace. I mean, take a look at the pictures above. That's not your face, of course. But, you're somewhere in that progressive generational schema right this very minute. Knowing where you are is always a necessary first step. So, let's do some age stuff.
1. Calculate your age and celebrate it.
There's an interesting site I usually access on my birthday. It calculates age in
days, weeks, months, and years, adding a new angle on my life every birthday.
These same calculations are available for you if you click right here. Do it right
now. Write down the numbers. Thank God for the days of your life. Share it
2. Do some background on your generational cohort.
There are many ways to study your own personal generational cohort. May I
suggest one short source of generational data? Go here for a brief synopsis of
the living generations and place yourself in the one that fits your birth age.
Please note that these are broad generalizations about the influences, likes
and dislikes, and other lifestyle characteristics of people who share the traits of
3. Understand that the body changes as we age.
Once again, there are numerous reference guides to natural physical aging. You
can consult many data points to note where you are in the again process. For a
short tutorial, you can go here. Or, for a reality check, just stand in front of a
mirror and take a close look at yourself. Make special note of the physical
changes in your own life. How has your physical life changed over the years?
4. Differentiate your physical life and your spiritual life.
Even though Scripture references the aging process in many ways, the
emphasis of Scripture for your role as a spiritual leader isn't about age.
Maturity is the goal of your spiritual development and Christ-likeness is the
model of our spiritual growth. Therefore, the graces of spiritual maturity
should produce in you character that guides you through your physical journey.
5. What spiritual fruit is evident in your life?
Galatians 5:22-23 is a listing of spiritual fruit evident in a growing disciple of
Jesus. Which of these is most apparent in you?
Spiritual leadership is demanding, even hard. Jesus promised his disciples it would be so. But, he also promised them victory, effectiveness, and productive lives if they would lead from their spiritual resources even in the face of physical realities. Your personal generational map is the intersection of these two streams, the expected truth of aging and the spiritual resources that will enable you to function effectively as you encounter changing physical abilities.
Let me illustrate. For years our dad, The Chester, trained my brother Mike and I to play just about every sport. In those early years he was always several steps ahead of us in everything---baseball, football, basketball, badminton, horseshoes, billiards, table tennis, and wrestling. As we got older our ability to keep up was enhanced by increases in size, strength, hand-eye coordination, speed, and other physical attributes. I remember once when I was in college finally being able beat dad in running a pass pattern, playing a game of horse, or pitching a baseball. On one occasion I recall stopping our one-on-one basketball game to give dad a breather. I asked, "Are you doing okay?" Years later I was shooting hoops with our son Brian one afternoon. He stopped the game for a minute and asked me, "Are you doing okay, dad?" In an immediate flashback I realized that Brian and I were at the same juncture that dad and I had been many years earlier. My stamina was down. But, I didn't need to beat him any longer. My loss of energy was overcome by an endurance that shifted the importance of what we were doing.
Your personal generational map as a spiritual leader is more about your maturity than your age. In fact, if you'll get serious about your own life process you'll note that age was never a biblical consideration in the people God raised up for his purpose. He always wanted them to be mature.
Being old or young isn't the final analysis for spiritual leaders. Having the mind of Christ and being mature in your faith is the deal. Your generational map should seek to grow mature, and not to grow old. That's going to happen whether you like it or not. But, growing in the grace of knowledge of Jesus Christ is a choice that every spiritual leader must make.
You age is what it is. Go for it!