As I’ve gotten older, I’ve given up the idea of doing things by a certain age in my life. When I was younger, doing that was fun because I just couldn’t wait to grow up. But now that I’m older, and I’ve begun to miss deadlines I’ve set for myself, the exercise of planning my life has become far less joyous and more like a reminder of dreams deferred.
But to be honest, that’s not the main reason I’ve stopped planning my life based on age and milestones. I’ve stopped due to a realization that some things just take time, certain things can’t be rushed.
This realization was two-fold, first coming from the amazing late 20 and early 30-year-olds that I look up to, and the other part coming from people in the Bible that “hit their stride” in their 30s.
Before I go any further, I have to say that I, like many other people, am a sucker for instant gratification. I want what I want and I wanted it yesterday! But whether you call it climbing the ladder, paying your dues, or the process, you can’t land at the “finish line” without embarking on the journey.
Many of the people I look up to are in their early 30s and are doing some amazing things. They’ve started businesses, they’re living the life there 20-year-old self would have never imagined, and what I find most remarkable is that they’re quite content.
Now, I can’t speak for them, but they genuinely seem to be content with where they are in life. Let me explain… I say content because that doesn’t mean that everything in their life is grand, they never struggle, and the embody Hakuna Matata vibe only. But it’s as if they’ve finally hit their stride.
Stride – to walk with long, decisive steps in a specified direction.
Though I’m only a young 20-something, I feel like much of what I’ve experienced in this season of my life is running, sprinting if I’m honest. If it’s not running to the next big thing, I’m racing to keep up with others, or to stay relevant, or to achieve something to impress people who I don’t care too much about.
While that has slowed down significantly for me since I quit social media, I often find myself still fighting aspects of that battle every once in a while. But it seems like as you reach 30 and beyond, you stop running, and start striding. Maybe it’s because you run out of gas and get winded, maybe it’s because you realize always running isn’t sustainable, or maybe it’s just because you know there is more to life, and working within your purpose as it’s been revealed to you is far more satisfying than striving for the approval of people.
Whatever it is, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching this change from afar in some of the people I admire. They’re truly striding, not breaking a sweat, not breathing hard, but living and loving life no matter what test or trials, celebrations or accomplishments come their way.
And as I thought about this, I couldn’t help but consider how this plays out in the Bible. Joseph was 30 when you became second in command to Pharaoh. David became king around the age of 30 as well. John the Baptist was 30 when he came out of the wilderness, Ezekiel was called by God to be a prophet at the age of 30, and of course, Jesus officially started his ministry at 30.
Why were they all 30? Why couldn’t they have been 20-something? While I don’t have the answers, I feel that each of them coming into their purpose around the age of 30 had little to do with them being actually being 30, and more to do with the journies (i.e., personal, spiritual, and physical) they all had to take to become the people they were at that time. They couldn’t just arrive in their purpose, they had to walk into it, and that takes time.
With that said, if even sovereign and all-powerful Jesus had to wait until 30, also He had to wait on the Lord’s timing to step into His purpose, I think I can humble myself to do the same.
I write all this to say that some things, no matter how much you want them, require a process of growth, maturity, and ultimately time. In this world, we can fake a lot of things, but you can’t fake true growth and the process.
If you’re like me and you find yourself wondering why you haven’t accomplished certain things by now, just remember that some things require you to wait, and all things are in God’s timing. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the journey He’s taking you on.
Until next time, get up, get moving, and be salt & light!