I remember sitting on the lakeshore at a youth swim party. I was 27 years old and the youth pastor at my church. My wet curly hair hung close to my shoulders. Suddenly a friend standing behind me loudly commented on a small bald spot forming on the back of my head!
A few days later while on a date with my future wife we sat talking with my head in her lap. She ran her fingers through my locks, then asked, “What did you look like when you had hair right here?” her fingers rubbing just above my temples.
I don’t know why we think we can ask questions like that or make fun of people who are going or already are bald.
I hear you laughing! Seriously, think about it, you can’t make fun of people’s color, weight, age, gender, sexual preference—but baldness? Fair game.
I hear comments like this all the time—
Even my three-year-old son gets in on the action. The other day we were walking through our neighborhood park. He asked me about a piece of ball moss he found. I explained to him where it came from. His response? “You can use it Daddy for hair if you want!”
My hair began noticeably thinning around age 30. By age 40 I was shaving my head. Lucky for me that by that time baldness was a bit cool.
Not sure I find complete joy in being bald, but there are some advantages:
- No need for shampoo.
- Don’t need a hairdryer either.
- I never have a wind-blown look.
- Save tons of money not having to get a haircut.
It’s not so much about going bald as it is simply getting older. And I want to find joy in growing older.
Now that I am in my 50s some days I look in the mirror, and I don’t recognize myself. More lines on the face. Some days dark circles under the eyes. Having a toddler that wakes me up a couple of times each night takes its toll on me!
But when I have God’s perspective about growing older, I can find joy in it.
No, I don’t enjoy the aches and pains nor my body not able to do what it once could. And sure at times I wish I still had those curly locks.
But here are a few things I do enjoy about getting older.
Not that you can’t have deep relationships when you are young. But added depth can happen only after years invested in the relationship
Danielle and I just celebrated 26 years of marriage. Both the good and bad times bring depth to our relationships that no one else can ever match.
I also find joy in having friends of many years that know me, love me, support me, encourage me, and challenge me.
Learning from years of mistakes, taking risks, living in different places, trying new things—all this gives me a wiser perspective on life than I could ever have had at a young age.
As I age, my palette of what I appreciate grows. I still want to live life to the fullest, but I also enjoy slowing down to appreciate the finer things in life.
Simply put, I enjoy the fact that this life is not all. This helps me let go of the vanity that the world tries to sell me. When I view life through the lens of eternity, the amount of years God graces me with here on this Earth pale in comparison.
When I can do this, I focus more on my legacy and what I leave behind for the next generations and not the way I look. I find joy in creating things that will linger for a while after I leave. Things that point to the existence of an infinite God who never grows old.
The vanity of trying to stay young is a cruel, losing battle that the world excels at entangling us with. I am ready to find joy in growing old.