Maybe it was being immersed in Comic Book Culture throughout my adolescence but I have always been obsessed with origin stories. Origins, the beginning, the time period or series of events that made someone who they are. In comic books it's the dramatic events that led to the activation, arrival or heritage of their super powers. I've given hours of thought to my own origin story. As a kid my inner monologue was often a narration of whatever I was doing, but in the past tense, in the Behind the Music narrator voice.
In a few short days I'm turning 30 and I've always anticipated my 30th birthday would be hard. Isn't that the stereotype? That we hit 30 and panic? That we turn 30 we believe our life is mostly over and we are no longer young or viable. But truthfully, I don't feel that way. In fact I'm not nervous or panicked at all. I don't believe my life is over, I don't believe I'm not young and I really don't believe I'm not viable. Actually it's totally the opposite; I still kind of feel like I'm in my origin story.
I know some incredible 20somethings, they're smart and passionate and capable and poised to change the world and it's an honor to know them. But guys, can those of us who are no longer 22 just give a loud and thankful AMEN?! I am so proud to say that I know significantly less now than I "knew" at 22, I'm living in a much more joyful, authentic, teachable way at 30 than I could at 22. No matter how much we believe otherwise at the time, at 22 we're still developing an understanding of the world, of ourselves, and we're still developing a personal ideology. Even though I genuinely and passionately believed I KNEW MYSELF and UNDERSTOOD THE WORLD when I was 22, on this side of my 20's I can completely confidently and humbly say:
I knew nothing.
This isn't about bashing 22 year olds, you guys rock, keep doing you! Your ideas and innovations and heartfelt contributions are literally changing the world!! Don't take any of this as a jab because it's not. This isn't about bashing 22 year olds because this is about reassuring 30 year olds and 40 year olds and 50 year olds and so on and so on, that the Lord is still using you, and some of you, the Lord is going to start using you, even now, in what may seem like to you, late in the game.
See my early obsession with origin stories has taught me something in this, the advent of my golden years: you're never too old to be in your origin story.
You are never too old to be developing and learning and getting ready, even if you don't know what you're getting ready for!
An origin story has nothing to do with age and everything to do with beginnings. You are never too old for a beginning. Which means you're never too old to do the thing you're made for, the thing the Lord has for you.
Don't sell yourself short thinking that because you are older now than you once were that you are done, that the Lord doesn't have something He wants you to do, something He has built and prepared you for. The Bible is full of young guns making good, sure, but it's also full of stories of men and women who began their work long after what we'd consider their youth.
Don't let your age, whatever it is, stop you from a passionate pursuit of God's call on your life.
I'm nowhere near where I thought I'd be when I was 22. In fact if you told 22 year old me what 30 year old me's life looks like I would have told you that you clearly didn't know me. But I'm so thankful that His plans are not my plans, that His timing is not my timing. And I'm in good company. Saul of Tarsus was 31 when he began life as Paul the apostle. David, who was anointed king by Samuel when he was somewhere between 10 and 13 didn't actually become the king until he was 30. Joseph was 30 when he started working for the pharaoh. And Jesus began his ministry at 30.
Yeah. I'm definitely okay with turning 30.