Do you know someone who’s growing old? Or maybe it’s you? Say it however you’d like: aging, maturing, advancing in years. I love and respect the folks in my life who are ahead of me in the race. There is wisdom and experience. They have knowledge to share. And there is so much to celebrate about growing older. But when I stop and think about the times I feel old, the word “inflexibility” comes to mind. There’s a stiffening of the joints and limbs that comes along with this process. Aches and pains that weren’t always there. A kind of creaking from within.
As we age, we discover not only physical limitations to our flexibility. We can also find ourselves growing inflexible in certain preferences; our walls get set in place, built up, reinforced, and won’t be moved. And yet, I know people who are aging as the years pass... but seem to stay flexible, both physically and otherwise. It turns out that “old” often tends to merely be a way of thinking. In fact, I know a few younger people who are stiff, inflexible, and stodgy in their attitudes and manner of living!
Yet for some, the number of years they’ve lived on the planet are not a determining factor of how vibrant, flexible, spry, and forward-thinking they are. I have some great friends with a few more decades under their belt who are still flexible, fun, learning, growing, and stretching… and will continue to be this way until the day they die. There’s a chronic sense of wonder in their world. While their experience gives them a gravity that is surprised by nothing life brings, even so, they’re delighted by nearly everything. Old? No way.
When God intervenes, there’s a breaking down of the stiff inflexibility… a renewal and transformation in our way of thinking. When everything we thought we knew is upended, turned on its head, we start to look for God in ways that might just blow the walls off our little box. Zechariah and Elizabeth are about to see things change in a radical way. God just goes and does that sometimes... He can in your life, too.
What would it look like for you to encounter this shift, this breaking, this upending of your set-and-settled world? Would you dare to start asking God to do this, for His good and His glory, in your life?