Sometimes I get a little panicky. There are so many things I still want to do, and my life is at least half over. Am I wasting time? Does it matter what I do and donít do? Who will care, anyway? Maybe Iím doing okay and I should just relax. Recently I learned about a woman who raised five kids, helped her husband as he pastored a church, got her doctorate, taught at a seminary, wrote several books, took students on educational tours to Egypt, Israel and other intriguing spots, collected rare artifacts, founded an international nonprofit organization, and swam two miles in the Atlantic Ocean every single day.
Well, maybe Iím a late bloomer. The lady I described above was. She raised her kids and helped her husband, then got her doctorate at age 62 and kind of took off from there. Cory Aquino became president of the Philippines when she was 53. Harlan Sanders launched his KFC empire at age 66. Grandma Moses started painting at 75. If I buckle down, keep from panicking and bloom sometime, Iíll be in good company.
The biblical Moses was a late bloomer, too. His story is recorded in Exodus, which takes up 36 pages in my Bible. Moses is born on page one. Heís set adrift in a basket on the Nile, adopted by an Egyptian princess, kills a man at age forty, runs away to the desert, gets married and tends sheep for another forty years before God speaks to him from the burning bush. That takes us all the way to page two of Exodus. The first eighty years of Mosesí life take upÖjust over one page.
This means that almost everything we remember Moses for, he did from age 80 to 120. My panicky feeling is easing off. Iím barely into my second forty years, and am glad not to have killed anyone yet. I also donít guess Iíll live to be 120, so perhaps I wonít spend the next forty years tending sheep, either. And donít worry, Iím not suffering from delusions of grandeur. I donít anticipate freeing a nation from slavery, leading a million people across a desert to a land flowing with milk and honey, recording world-changing commandments of slabs of stone, or overseeing the building of a gorgeous tabernacle in which to worship the Creator God of the universe.
My own dreams are diminutive. I would like to finish writing a book or two and have them published. Iíd like to see my sons married and spoil their children. I want to go see a few places. Get my doctorate? That might be a stretch. But I do dream of heading for the mission field with my husband after he retires.
All my dreams, however, are subject to my Abbaís direction. I am His willing bondslave, at His disposal for whatever use He desires to make of me, great or small, adventurous or mundane. I serve Him voluntarily, with a heart full of love and gratitude for all He is to me. I do not know what my remaining days may hold, but I know He has those days written in His book, and will show me the path He has planned out for me since before time began. Iím content (on my best days) to take one step at a time along that path, wherever it may lead, whether through desert or promised land, alone or in a multitude, for the next forty days or the next forty years. Iím confident thereíll be some blooming somewhere along the way.
Note: To find out how old Moses is at various turning points in his life, you must read Acts chapter 7.
Please also note: I will definitely not be swimming two miles in the Atlantic Ocean every day, or ever. Or in any ocean. Or swimming any miles at all anywhere. Just wanted to be clear about that.