More Years = More Stories

I loved playing tennis as a teenager. When I was learning how, my dad and I practiced on a dilapidated court next to the town’s nearly abandoned airport. No one was around to watch us and we’d make up games as we played. I think we laughed more than anything.

For my 15th birthday, Mom even created a tennis racket shaped cake. I can’t recall the wishes I made before blowing out the candles, but with all the erratic expectations of youth, anything was possible.

A couple birthdays later, I remember staying after class for help on my English essay. My teacher sat on the edge of her desk, and in a thoughtful way cautioned me that taking school too seriously wouldn’t be good for my health. Life was more than school. 

She was right, but I hadn’t experienced enough life to understand what she meant.

Two birthdays after that, when I had discovered that life was indeed much more than school, I went to a college that focused less on grades and more on the love of learning. What a gift. 

But the best gift was meeting the man who’d help me write the best chapters of my life—and he still is.

As you get older, birthdays aren’t so much about gifts, but about the stories you’ve lived. Getting older brings wisdom and perspective. I've discovered that the best gifts are found in faith, family, friends, and nice beach walks.

Another birthday? Yes! It’s the chance to live out more stories.

But the reality of aging met me at the grocery store when two little boys were looking for the canned fruit. One said to the other, “It’s at the end of the aisle. By that old lady.” I turned to look at whom they were pointing, and it was me.

I guess it’s only fair. I remember being that age and thinking that people my age WERE old. 

Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should. Psalm 90:12

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