I don’t blame the receptionist for being unfriendly, so unreceptive. No one really wants to be here. Probably not even the the new doctor I’m waiting to see.
I scan the room as I sit down to fill out paperwork and I notice the others. They flip through magazines, maybe just passing time. Or maybe trying to forget why they’re here. Because when you’re in the doctor’s office just sitting, waiting, you tend to think about scary stuff like pain and suffering and human frailty. And that can be a hard pill to swallow.
But it can also be a good thing if we are honest with ourselves about our own need and this epiphany, this sudden revelation, leads us toward positive change. That happened to me when my mother died. I felt a palpable sense of urgency to live life to the fullest. To serve others. To find out what God wanted me to do and do it. Fast!
Because that pesky, ticking clock gets louder by the minute. And the aging process is very real. I am in my forties. I told someone the other day, “I feel like I’m falling apart.” Have you ever said that out loud? When you say it out loud, it’s sort of like declaring the obvious. We’re all in various stages of falling apart, even though we don’t want to admit it.
The poet Oliver Wendell Holmes humorously stated what most of us think: “Old age is always fifteen years older than I am.”
I laugh because I can identify. It’s sort of relaxing, floating in that blissful sea of denial. Then, boom! One day we wake up and realize that years have flown by and we’re surprised even though we all know the truth.
No one has ever found the fountain of youth.
I know this because when I look in the mirror I see how I’ve been marked by time. Branded by scars formed from striving and stretching and just trying to survive the emotional strain of my own reality. Which, for me, has involved coming to terms with the fact that life isn’t fair, but God is.
I have to repeat that. Let it wash over me again. Life isn’t fair, but God is.
What doesn’t make sense to me is completely understood by Him. I have to learn to trust Him more. To praise Him more. Because more of Him is all I need to fill the less in me. To patch up all these gaping holes and rebuild the broken down parts.
Through every life stage, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with the changes we see in ourselves. But I have decided that, instead of obsessing about my decreasing energy and increasing doctor visits, I will focus on the One who is unchanging.
I will allow the life-giving Word of God to renew me daily and I will drink from His fountain of mercy. And maybe this is the real fountain of youth, one that exists to revive and sustain the human spirit. God’s power in us, decreasing our fear and increasing our faith. This is what gives us hope. This is how we can serve others. And this is what enables us to truly live life to the fullest.
Whatever kind of waiting room you find yourself in today, I pray you will feel the arms of God around you. Lean into Him, because He is more than enough to meet every need.
For further reflection and worship. Scripture and a song…
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal.“
2 Corinthians 4:16
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