I jokingly told my sister the other day that I plan to peak at seventy. As a notoriously late bloomer in most areas of life, this was not entirely tongue-in-cheek, but the quip started me on an intriguing train of thought.
Who says when the prime of life actually occurs? What sets the standards for excellence? No denying we live in a culture obsessed with youth, beauty, wealth, achievement, and physical strength. Financial power is also the god of this age. By North American standards, success is pretty much defined in someone’s life by age forty.
But what about the intangibles? Life is full of ‘em! Try taking a look at character, relational integrity or creativity; the ability to love or self-sacrifice. These are unspeakably important components to the measure of one’s over-all success. What if wisdom got the air-time it really deserved? What if the accumulation of experience was actually quantifiable?
First of all, what does it really mean to be in the prime of life? This is easier to recognize in meat than moment-to-moment accomplishment. How do you define “the first importance, premier, superior, foremost or zenith” of a lifespan? When is existence at its best possible quality, the most productive, the most illustrious? When does strength, energy, productivity or vitality peak? And most mysterious of all, who gets to be the judge of that? You, yourself? Your family? Peers? Unfortunately, most people live out their whole lives, and then looking back, feel old, obsolete, depleted and useless. Well past their prime.
But let’s be clear before we go any further. This is not how the Kingdom of God works. These kinds of judgments about youth and strength as the be-all, end-all belong to the world we live in, not the God we serve. To the Lord, neither age nor time are anything. He's looking on the heart. He's searching for someone who is prepared to do what He calls for - no matter how bad it makes them look...how messy or protracted the process may be. The one who will go against the flow and be His righteousness. Some of His best exploits on the earth were accomplished with partners others had already written off.
Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. Genesis 6:9
Being prime is really about being a new creation; the expectation that we are moving from glory to glory, not declining because of diminishing physical vitality. According to the Word, faith always keeps us reaching towards apex. It puts us on an upward trajectory of vital increase. We are continually in upgrade mode, never exhausting our potentiality. We enter another dimension through discipleship, though these changes may not be immediately apparent.
Exploits await our boldness to receive them. Proceed upon the promises! Take some chances! This is a grand and unlimited adventure; an exploration of Christ, the Anointed One living in us. Day by day, we have the choice to grow in grace and glory. Despite mental or physical limitations, educational deficits or prejudices against me, God is leading me in a certain direction and supplying me with the resources and favor I require, and I will be able to prevail. Through the Spirit, higher levels of capacity, ability, intelligence, and a thousand other advantages are within my grasp. If that isn’t prime, show me a better definition.
That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power… Ephesians 1:16-19
Isn't it time to stop mourning our age, the loss of opportunities, failures, bad choices or time wasted? Excellelnt days of fulfillment and satisfaction are before us, if we have the wisdom to grasp them. The Lord, with, and in, you is far superior to all the negatives. There are challenges for you to lay hold on. Flex your muscles! In Christ, you are still, and continuously, in your prime.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Mark 8:36
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