There was a big birthday last year in the White House and the news was buzzing with one question:
What does the new 50 look like?
Well ladies and gentlemen, I can speak to that. In fact truth be told, I have been able to speak to that for the last 3 years, 3 months, and 10 days. (But who’s counting?)
Here’s what 50 looks like:
- The wrinkles are no longer top on the extermination list. You’ve earned those lines, #$&% it! (Can I just say damn here?). And no one can take that away.
- Everything that used to be propped up, pushed up, and tightened is now about an inch lower. a little looser, and less likely to disappear at the gym. Relaxed is a good way to put it.
- Botox has gone from frowned upon, to considered, to lied about (or avoided in conversation).
- Your hairdresser has become your best friend (Unless you are one of those freaks of nature who still has her original color).
- You now debate whether you are being hip or gross every time you wear anything above the knees (your child may vote for the latter).
I’ll stop there. Because this isn’t going to be a top 10 list on what 50 looks like.
I want to talk about what 50 feels like.
You’ll be relieved to know, we are about to take an uphill turn.
They say wisdom comes with age but you don’t really own that phrase till you turn 50. In your 40’s you are still pretending you’re thirty-something (remember that show?), and hoping no one notices. But there is an inward banner that comes with 50.
You’ve been around. And you have more to offer because of it.
You also realize you are entering the last half of your life (unless you are shooting for the Smucker’s jam anniversary label that has pictures of people who make it past 100.) (Is that really a goal?)
Hey peeps- if you’re 50 or older- this is the last half. If you’re lucky. Which tends to put an exclamation on the contemplation of life.
So that brings me to the real subject of this blog.
What are we going to do with the time we have left?
That’s a question to ask at any age. And you shouldn’t wait till you’re 50 to ask it. But if you are 50, what now? Is it time for more golf, more vacations and a winter timeshare in Florida? Or does God have something new in mind for the back-nine years of your life?
This question hits home for me, because for 25 years, I have been an “expert in youth ministry.” (This will all change when my stepson turns 13.) I have written books about it, spoken about it, and made my identity as a cheerleader to youth workers my entire adult life.
(See my book tab for proof: https://laurieshort.com/Short/Books.html)
But at 50, God has given me something new to write about.
Don’t get me wrong, I have loved every minute of those former years. But God has decided that instead of moving me out to pasture, He has something else He wants me to do. He’s given me a story of hope in the midst of disappointment. He’s also given me eyes to see hope in other peoples disappointment. And He opened a big door (called Zondervan publishers) for me to write about it.
Some of you who are following my blog have probably wondered why it’s called “Finding Faith in the Dark“.
It’s actually the name of a book I wrote that after two years of labor, will emerge in print this July.
It’s a miracle really. The same publisher who published fourteen of my youth ministry books decided to take a gamble and let me try something new. And I even got to work with Philip Yancey’s editor (John Sloan) to do it.
I am terrified, excited, awestruck, elated, and did I mention terrified?
And at 53 (gulp) it sure is great to feel that way.
Over the next weeks and months till the book comes out, I will be exploring some of the themes of my book in this blog.
The subtitle of my book is: “When the Story of your life takes a turn you didn’t plan.” Maybe you (or someone you know) can relate to that.
So keep visiting my blog (and subscribe if you want), and spread the word if you like what you see.
And in closing, I want to leave you with one last question…
What new thing might God be stirring you to do?
I have three words for you:
What’s stopping you?