Never has a birthday bugged me like this one. By the time you receive this blog post, I will have turned the BIG 6-0. Now, I know some of you are rolling your eyes and saying, “I wish!” But, others are thinking, “I didn’t realize she was that old.” Still, others are saying, “I know! This is a hard birthday!” By the way, I like that response best.
I didn’t enjoy turning fifty, but I figured I might live to be one hundred so I consoled myself with the idea that I had a whole other “second-half” of my life. There is NO chance I will live to be one hundred and twenty. I’m on the downhill side of life and picking up speed! I wasn’t a grandma when I was fifty. Now, I’m a grandma to 3.8 grandchildren. Rachel is due to deliver another boy, the first week of December . . . Pardon me while I grin and say YEAH!!! (Pictures will follow!)
Grandkids are definitely the BEST thing about getting older. The second-best thing is the ability to walk out the door and travel anywhere. So, when Jim asked me what I wanted for my big 6-0, I told him that he needed to book me a few days at Disney World so I can ride every fast, flip-me-upside-down, twirl-me-around ride they have. I choose to turn sixty while I’m riding through the stars of Space Mountain and going from zero to sixty on my FAVORITE ride, the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster. (That ride features Aerosmith, a favorite band from my younger years – but that is a whole different blog post.)
Jim and I both have bad backs, which will get a little worse next week. But, I’m packing some Motrin and I’m getting in line. There is hardly anyone who likes Disney better than me. (Well, maybe my friend Sheila Bailey!) I grew up in California, and the name of my street was “Buena Vista.” If you watch an old Disney movie, you will notice it was made at the “Buena Vista Studio.” Yes! My street came to a dead-end at the back entrance of Disneyland, where the studio was. My grandparents lived close by, and we could use binoculars to watch Tinker Bell slide down from the Matterhorn while standing in their driveway. Disney is in my DNA and I wanted to turn sixty with Mickey and Minnie. Come to think of it, they are aging well!
Birthdays that end with a zero seem more significant, but they really aren’t. I’m just one day older than I was the day before. I think one of the biggest differences in life on earth and life eternal is the time factor. Almost everything on earth is measured by time. As King Solomon said, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Solomon goes on to say there is a time to live, a time to die, a time to plant, and a time to harvest. I would add there is a time to ride fast rides and a time to watch the kids ride them. So, I’m headed to Disney now because I’m not sure when that last season kicks in!
Ecclesiastes is not usually on a person’s list of devotional thoughts, but I have always loved that book. There is time for everything on earth, if you do everything when you should take the time to do it. I think Ecclesiastes isn’t about the futility of life; I think Solomon was teaching us about the priorities of life. I think people should live whatever season of life they find themselves in, looking forward to heaven but fully enjoying their moments on earth. If we saw our earthly lives with godly perspective, then things like turning sixty would feel more like standing in line at Space Mountain. The closer we get to the end, the closer we are to the best ride of this life. When we get off the ride, Jesus helps us out of the car and we exit to the gift shop, where everything is absolutely free and stamped “Made in Heaven.”
I think we should try to live healthy lives and spend as long on planet earth as God allows. Each day is the opportunity to live for Jesus and store treasure in heaven, our eternal reward. I’m going to heaven, but I want to bring as many people with me as I can.
That is the way I want to view the rest of my birthdays. If I could take all of you with me to Disney World, for free, I would try to do that! It’s the greatest place I know to have fun! But I can take people to heaven with me, for free! It’s free because Jesus already bought everyone a ticket. How sad if I didn’t make sure everyone got theirs.
I wish all of you a blessed week. I’m unavailable, off the phone, off my computer, and out of touch for the next week. I’m sixty and I’m going to celebrate! (Now, I need to go color my roots. I don’t celebrate everything about getting older!)