There’s something about age that makes things – and people – interesting.
As I walked our collie early this morning I was studying the vintage homes that dot our neighborhood.
Many are a century-old or have been renovated in the style popular when our city was young. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, homes were built with raised foundations, set-back carriage houses and generous front porches. No two houses in north Wheaton are identical, and I enjoy studying their differences as Kelli and I walk.
This morning it occurred to me why I have such an affinity for the aging process: it characterizes me, too. The homes in our neighborhood require constant upkeep to maintain their vitality and so, ahem, do I.
Where did these crepey folds on my neck come from, and what’s with the crows’ feet around the eyes? Why do extra pounds cling so stubbornly in the second half of life? Vintage architectural details are charming, but I can’t say the same about the physical ones.
When Mike and I were traveling in the footsteps of Paul last summer, we were reminded that the Apostle may have been close to our age when he hoofed it throughout Greece and Turkey (then Asia Minor). We traveled in an air-conditioned tour bus; Paul by foot. He must have been acutely aware of the toll his calling took on his aging body.
“Outwardly we are wasting away,” he wrote to the people in ancient Corinth, “yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16).
I love that perspective. So what if the house my soul is stored in is showing signs of age? It’s been sheltering me for nearly six decades already. That makes it a classic!
I do what I can to maintain my soul’s home. I exercise, fill it with fuel, and slap paint on it. But inside, where it matters most, is where personal renewal happens. Every single day we draw breath is an opportunity to rebirth our own dreams and encourage others in theirs.
I’m fond of the old homes in my neighborhood, and I’m grateful for mine.
Both of them.