Remember when you were little and your birthday was coming? You suddenly rose to celebrity status. Days leading up to that golden moment everybody wanted to sit next to you, everybody wanted you to sleep over, or come to their house to play, or give you their brownie from lunch. It was like your specialness glow would shine on them. Then the day of your party suddenly you were genuine royalty! Even the family dog revered you as she watched you eat every crumb of that birthday cake, each shiny droplet of ice cream.
So fast forward… birthdays are still important but they begin to be landmarks– your driver’s license one, then your “legal age” one, then your voting one (or are these the same year now, 21?? I forget). Then 25 is a biggie and then the decade ones.
And then you may even have a family, so now your own little ones’ days are even more special.
But later on you begin to notice you are more the focus of old-age jokes, especially after 30. There is the over-the-hill at 40, the half-life mark at 50, only to degenerate more and more after that until maybe 70. At 70 you begin to be revered again, and if you are lucky to go even beyond this each year begins to be its own landmark again. 75, 76, 79, 80? 83? 87? 90?? Oh, wow…
Now along with the reverence comes those younger faces peering into yours to make sure your eyes have not clouded over with the vagaries of dementia, or senility or some such nonsense. Your age is no longer a benchmark for amazing health and acuity at that age but the possibility of an early onset of something horribly debilitating, at least in “their” minds.
It seems to me that, those of us who were non-conforming individualists all of our lives are likely to be scrutinized more closely now. Especially since we usually marched to the beat of a definitely different drum.
And we still may hear it, however faintly.
Job 12:12; Ephesians 4:23-24