BY THE TIME we reach a certain age, having invariably learned the hard lesson once too often, we are ready to say to that one who knocks at our door, “I’m okay just as I am, thank you very much!”
The same response is applicable also for cold callers in any location; shopping malls, etc.
At such an age we learn that it’s far better to assert confidence — even if on loan — than it is to wilt under whatever perceived pressure there may be. The age we get to this stage is generally over 40, but we can arrive at such a place much earlier. There are flickers of it much younger, certainly.
There’s a healthy scepticism involved. We’ve learned that the world is generally not to be trusted. We’ve learned that if it sounds too good to be true it one-hundred-percent is too ‘good’ to be true. We’ve learned that it’s rare that we can trust people right off the bat, but it’s our maturity that wants to trust people if we feel they’ve earned it — or if we sense a genuineness in them. We are readier to trust those we sense as genuine. Yet, we’ve learned not to hold our breath in anticipation of what we want to happen; we’ve come to expect it will probably not actually happen.
We learn that we don’t need to crave any particular person’s or group’s help. We can rely on our own resources. And because we have faith in God (assuming we do!) we know that God has our back. Not that we look for God to provide car parking spaces and other banal things. We just know that God does us no harm and does us a power of good — over the longer haul. We just no longer hold God accountable for little things that we attribute against us. It’s not the way God works.
As mature persons of age we get to enjoy a life that’s a little further away from intrinsic anxiety. That’s not to say we aren’t burdened by many worries — the worries just don’t have the same destructive impact they once had.
We have been gifted into a vital life transition that only comes with age.
When we have reached this place that Robert Bly would call “eating the shadow.” We have moved through the red and white phases of development, and now, into the black. This means we can cope with darkness. And only when we can cope with darkness have we learned that we have let the light in. We can exist in the darkness and are not afraid of it anymore. Our trust in God has become endemic.
The aptly confident self-assurance that aged maturity gives us is a gift from God, because of, not in spite of, our life experiences. It’s God’s compensation for what we’ve been through.
When trust in God is unshakable we’re simply thankful. Many mysterious things no longer matter. We learn not to work on shutting down our fear but to rely on God.
Trust in God! By practice we’ll learn something. Overall the Lord will give us something. We’ll learn that nobody is against us like we think they are. We’ll learn that we’re cosmically alone with God — from eternity to eternity. We’ll learn that God is carrying us. And finally we’ll learn there’s nothing to fear in life other than God himself.
God is in the practice of turning our perceptions upside down in truth — fear nothing but the fear of not trusting the Lord.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.