Age has nothing to do with finitude. It has everything to do with an ever-widening awareness of the vicissitudes of perspective, the heightened sense of the impermanence not just of experience but of time. Today will never return. And time offers its view, its past, present, future, its joys and pleasures, its worries and pain—its indifference to all. Thus, as we age, what we once thought to be ample is now brief. On our way, time intensifies and reduces our experiences to the essential, it culls away the trivial, the scarred remains of consumption. This is how time teaches us and lifts our awareness above life.
In her book, Jesus Calling, Sarah Young writes from God’s perspective, “It is impossible to praise or thank me too much. As it is written, I inhabit the praises of my people.” Praise, then, offered to God can never inhabit success achieved through our strength and will without Him. Its essence, when understood, when from created to Creator is returned, always recognizes God as the source of all gifts. When this truth anchors and displaces the void within or clarifies our understanding, the abundant life comes exclusive of circumstance. Too often, mankind elevates humanity’s ability to overcome and achieve heights unknown as a tribute to itself. But time posits her wisdom on the sighted.
The Christian life, properly understood, is a homeless life, a life filled with blessings not because of what we possess or achieve but because of to whom we belong. When God imparts this understanding outside of time, outside of our clutch on today, the abundant life is ours and for this we give praise. As it is written, I inhabit the praises of my people. Praising Him is our invitation for His presence. Knowing we are His people and the sheep of His pasture allows us to praise Him when life’s indifference comes. Truth is a hard gain, but peace is her fruit. A hard truth gained is remembered.
I have known people to whom time’s indifference was more cruel than deserved. Well known to us all, good people suffer and bad people, eventually. What marks the Christian life is response. Whether it be suffering or triumph, it is unto God we give our pain and joy if we know we belong to Him. If we do not, life’s finitude awaits.
I know a wise lady who said to me, “When you reflect over the long arc of life, you realize God put you just where you needed to be and when you needed to be there.” We knew this as a child and forgot. Age has a way of exposing us to what we knew then.
Then let’s give praise to God for where we are, for a child’s wisdom, for the hard truth gained, for knowing to whom we belong, for time given. As it is written, I inhabit the praises of my people.
“For those who have ears to hear, let them hear” (Matthew 11:15, NKJV).