by Annette Bridges. © 2008. All rights reserved.
No more can I say I’m approaching the half century mark. That day finally arrived recently, and I find myself asking what happened to all the things I’ve always wanted to do in my life.
It seems that I’m asking this question with the disheartened assumption that somehow it’s too late, that there isn’t enough time left to start something or reach a new goal or be whatever it was I wanted to be when I grew up.
In my weariness the other day, I shared my question with my daughter. In her encouraging way, she asked me, “What would you like to do?” Then she insisted, “Do it!”
She also shared one of her favorite quote books with me which her dad and I gave to her when she graduated high school. She pointed out a quote on one of its pages which gives a list of accomplishments by various people:
“At age 7, Mozart wrote his first symphony. At 12, Shane Gould won an Olympic medal. At 14, Leann Rimes topped the country music charts. At 17, Joan of Arc led an army in defense of Europe. At 57, Ray Kroc founded McDonalds. At 71, Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel. At 80, George Burns won his first Oscar. At 104, Cal Evans wrote his first book on the American West. (I believe in you compiled by Dan Zadra)
According to this list, it seems one is never too young or too old to achieve something new!
Then I came across a statement made by William James who was a 19th-century American psychologist and philosopher and also the brother of novelist Henry James. He wrote, “Begin to be now what you will be hereafter.”
That reminded me of something a friend once shared with me. She was telling me about a senior friend of hers who was in his nineties and was remodeling his house. She asked him why he was remodeling his house, and he said because he would take his concept of home into eternity with him. And he wanted his sense of home to be something that was current, progressive, fresh and new.
So what are some of the things I’ve always wanted to do and haven’t done yet?
I’ve always wanted to write a book. I’ve also dreamed of being a songwriter. I’m always thinking how cool it would be to invent something that would prove to be an indispensable product for many consumers. I’d love to remodel some historic building, run an art gallery, share a business with my daughter and write a book with her, too.
There are many places I’ve never been to and many things I’ve never done. I’m certain I’ve not yet become the person I’ve always wanted to be. But on that note, maybe we’re always in the state of “becoming,” and we never reach the point where we say, “There’s nothing more for us to learn or experience.”
You and I wouldn’t be eating Big Macs if Ray Kroc had thought there was nothing more for him to do just because he had turned 50. He had seven years to go before he would establish the first McDonalds. And I guess I still have another 54 years to get my first book published. I don’t see painting or acting on my horizon, but then again — who knows! Perhaps there’s some talent yet to be discovered and unleashed that I don’t know about.
I’m starting to get the picture. Living the life of our dreams never reaches a final destination. Our lifetime is always ahead of us. The journey continues. Since progress is God’s law, we will always be learning, growing, exploring, discovering and accomplishing. The best is always yet to be.
If we don’t do something, that something may never get done!
Let’s never stop believing in ourselves, in our potential, in the possibilities for our life, in our dreams, in our hopes. God never sees a young or old you. He only sees his beloved you.
I’m always telling my daughter to never stop dreaming and to never stop striving to accomplish her dreams. I guess I need to heed my own advice!