A glance in the mirror. Simple. Yet altering somehow.
I am not the child I once was - yet I can still see him there - bright - happy - outgoing.
But wait, I pause to truly see the me I am today - lines and crevices mar the unspoiled face of childhood mirroring the many paths I could have chosen.
I am not sixteen, I am not twenty, and I am no longer thirty-five. Time has marched across my features and I can scarcely remember the Never Neverland of childish imaginings.
Yet as I continue to gaze in the reflection I see the features of family older and wiser in the shape and contour of my face. These family members gaze at me knowingly and understand the path I tread. A few of these family members remain while others reside in my memory only.
One day these gathered in my mind will be the stuff of legend with a bit of fable thrown in. Family stories will be passed along to those who never knew the flesh and blood reality. Given enough time most will be forgotten.
This chance encounter with the me in the mirror brings about a mid-life crisis of sorts. And I find myself needing to make a choice.
I can attempt to mimic the me I recall in faulty memory or I can attempt to honor the memory of those I have known by being more like them. Yet neither choice seems entirely agreeable.
Perhaps there is another choice.
The good old days are often the best of memories sifted often and embellished with time. The future holds much - promise, dreams, adventure, danger, new generations who do not see eye to eye with the past, declining health, perhaps loss of job, loss of memory and loss of my spouse.
My life is neither at the beginning and it may not be at the end. God delights in the heart of a child, so I choose that heart - God delights in a maturity, so I chose this path.
God gave Moses his greatest assignment at the age of 80, Abraham became a parent at 100, Paul and John wrote significant words later in life. Through aches and pains - flesh thorns and heartache God used these men.
I will not cower at the thought of the coming years. I want to run eagerly to my Savior's side and take His assignments gladly. I want to do so willingly.
Rather than looking back at the way things were, I want to look ahead to the way things could be. I want the heart of a child and the maturity of a wise man. I want to greet each day with a willingness to pursue the adventure called life. I won't do it by acting like someone half my age - I will do it with the help of an ageless God who loves me and understands that I am but dust.
I will associate with younger people - I will need to know what they think and how they see their world. I will surround myself with older people - I will need the wisdom they can offer. And I will not contribute one dime to the widening of the generation gap.
The me in the mirror is not what I once was. The me in the mirror is not the final word on who I will become. The me in the mirror is simply a reflection of today - a day that the Lord has made for my enjoyment and, more importantly, His purpose.
I walk away from the mirror with a smile on my face. I have things to do - crisis averted!