"Aging is mandatory, maturing is optional."
This time 365 days ago I was probably curled up on my bed writing this poem. I just read it again, and I've realized how much further my poetry skills have come. *makes face* It is one thing at least, that I have noticed a change in for the better.
Sometimes when I look back on time - back on the most recent twelve months of my life - it seems that only little insignificant things have changed in the space of the year. Maybe my writing has improved, or I have learnt how to shuffle paperwork more aptly. Maybe I do all the washing without help now, or I can drive places by myself. Maybe I can do the entire family's grocery shopping on my own, or I can make a business phone-call without my voice shaking and stuttering - as much. Or maybe I've become a part of a team project, or that I've noticed the latest song my littlest siblings play on the piano over and over - and over - again is actually a little more difficult than the last one.
Okay, so maybe they aren't really that insignificant. In fact, they are all good things that I am supremely grateful for! But is it only "things" or abilities that one notices in themselves over the passing of time? Can't one notice areas that are much more important? I frown as my thoughts run deeper into more serious things. Have I become more mature? Do I think more before I speak? Are my thoughts ones full of genuine love for others? Have I learnt to be even kinder to my siblings? Do I daily exhibit a Godly example to those around me? Have I become more responsible and diligent? Am I becoming more capable of fulfilling the things God has in store for me? Have I become wiser in how I deal with situations and people?
Is there even a way to measure the depth of one's wisdom and experience? Though no one can ever fully "arrive" in this life, is there some way we might could tell just how far along we have got?
"Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith..."
- Hebrews 12:2
Looking... ever looking... searching, reaching for the goal - Jesus. He Alone is our standard. The way He lived is the way we also should strive to live. In looking back on the last year of my life I see so many lessons learnt - most of them by the hard way. Yet ever pushing towards the goal of doing what's right. Surely there is no greater joy in choosing a course of action and knowing in your heart it's right. Not by what anyone says, what any law tells you, but by what God has shown you.
At times I feel like sitting down in the middle of the road and looking back down the way I have come; bemoaning the times I strayed, or deliberately detoured. Will I ever learn? Will the work God has begun in me ever be perfected, more like His Son Jesus to become, or will I yet remain the wandering, short-sighted, impatient, difficult-to-teach person that I am?
"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it."
- 1 Corinthians 9:24
Then other times I turn and look upwards; towards the horizon to which I must run, and I am filled with fire. Oh yes, it is so far to go - but I will run with all my might! For what lessons are there to be learned on the morrow? And what new things will my Saviour open my eyes to? And what awesome things will He perform in my life? There is so much life on this road if you walk the way with Him. It is the only Way - and He the only One who can make your worst mistakes become objects of glory... His glory.
Though this night - the last night of my nineteenth year - is far spent, the day of my twentieth is at hand. May I throw off the works of darkness: the past and its mistakes that desires to hold me back. That I may put on the armour of light, in which I shall run the race that has been set before me with endurance.
Throwing open the windows of the morning - reveling in the sunshine of God's goodness as it floods in. Praising Him, and asking with a ready heart:
"Lord, what will you show me today?"