It’s my birthday today and here are some things I’ve learned about getting older. You know what they say about wine getting better with age. I’m not much of a wine person but I once tasted freshly collected palmwine one early morning in the village. The taste was heavenly…like there is no perfect adjective that can describe the experience. I’ve never had that experience again but I now understand why people talk about new wine although there are people who prefer old wine. Some say old wine is the best and wine gets better with age. I may not classify as vintage but tonight as I get set to mark another year of my beautiful life I realize that there are definitely some things I have learned in life as I grow older.
#Lesson 1: Life is not all about me
The first instinct of human life is self-preservation. Naturally everybody puts herself first and so do I. I think the first set of people that have conquered this law are mothers. After the birth of her child, a mother would give up anything for the sake of her child. While I may not have kids yet, with time I have learned that life is not all about me. I mustn’t do things only because they suit me but I have learned to put other people before me.
#Lesson 2: If I don’t get what I want now that doesn’t mean I will never get it.
We live our lives in a clock; 60 seconds, 60 minutes, 24 hours, 7 days, 52 weeks and 365 days. The days and years roll by and we attach everything to time. Sometimes, I feel that if I don’t get what I want now then that means I may never get it again. WRONG. Getting older has taught me that God does not dwell in time. He dwells in eternity. So while man may limit himself to time, God can redeem the time for us.
#Lesson 3: Sometimes I have to enjoy life
Okay, I know this sounds carnal but growing up I have learned that life is for the living. I can’t go through life like a walking dead. So if I have to go out and make myself happy then so will I. You only get to live once :). Even my man Solomon had a lot to say about this. You should read his works more often (don’t concentrate on his songs only oh!)
#Lesson 4: I am as valuable as I think I am
I know I am valuable but sometimes I forget. I constantly have to remind myself that my value is not dependent on other people’s opinions. If God says that I am wonderfully made and valuable in His sight then so am I. Getting older has made me realize how valuable I am.
#Lesson 5: My hands are long enough to pat myself on the back.
Yes, there are time I work my hands off or come up with something that I expect people to commend me for. Tough luck! Some people just never see past their noses enough to acknowledge others, try as you may. So what do I do? I’ve learned that my hands are long enough to pat myself on the back. So I stretch my hands out, pat myself and give myself a big hug. That’s one of the things getting older has taught me.
#Lesson 6: Some things take time.
A very wise man said that there are some things that just take time. You can’t have a child in 1 month by impregnating 9 women. Sometimes, our mathematical evaluations make us assume that there are things we can get automatically but life is not always so. Farmers learn to be patient. Some plants take months to grow while some take years. Surprisingly the ones that take longer to grow last longer. For instance the maize plant and the apple tree. I have learned to relax and be patient sometimes.
#Lesson 7: Being smart requires hard work
When I was much younger I knew I was smart and I didn’t have to work hard to pass examinations. I used to wonder why my teachers would write “Very hardworking” on my report cards. I grew older and realized that I couldn’t always depend on my brilliance to succeed in life. I have to go the extra mile and put in extra effort.
#Lesson 8: I need people
As much as sometimes I hate to admit it, growing up has taught me that I need people. I used to love solitude and I still do but there’s a reason why God made us grow in families. It is a great blessing to have people you can depend on. I thank God for the great and invaluable friendships I have made in my lifetime. My friends and family make my life richer. I am grateful for that.
#Lesson 9: Don’t expect people to treat you the way you treat them.
One mistake I, like many other people make is that I expect people to treat me the way I treat them. Unfortunately, life is the exact opposite of that. People don’t treat you nice because you treat them well. What to do…I have learned to take it in my stride and forge ahead.
#Lesson 10: God’s got me in His plans.
I don’t think I can ever forget Jeremiah 29:11. It was one of those verses that got me to realize that I am not just living life but I am living out a plan. I have seen the amazing works of God in my life and I know that my life is part of a plan. I may not always see the big picture but I trust in the one who paints that picture.
So while I thank God for keeping me throughout this year of my life, I also ask Him to renew my wineskins. Jesus said that no one puts new wine into old wineskins for then the new wine would burst the old wineskins Luke 5:37. So I ask him to continually renew my mind and my body to accommodate the new wine he pours into me every day. You should also make that your prayer today.
So celebrate with me and let’s keep being complete women as we get ready to step into the new year.
Happy birthday to me!