Here’s a simple psychological test you can conduct at your next dinner party. Everyone gets a small piece of paper and is asked to write down the age they would like to be if they could be any age. After they are finished, you ask them to draw a line and under the line write their true age. They fold up the papers and drop them in a hat, and then you open them and read the difference between the first second numbers. (i.e. “three years younger;” “two years older;” “seven years younger;” etc.)
They say the mark of contentment is when the difference is zero, when the person is most happy being the age they actually are. (For added fun, then try to guess who might have said what!)
Some of us are not so content.
Today, I am celebrating (or perhaps lamenting) one of those birthday years that ends in a zero or a five. Something about our decimal system ascribes to those years great additional significance.
I am not going to tell you what it is. While I have nothing but contempt for middle-aged men who park in teen chat rooms pretending to be something they are not; I relate best to that part of the Christian blog culture most populated by twenty-somethings, or worst case, thirty-somethings. With a lack of photographic evidence on this blog to prove anything contrary, I want to keep it that way.
Still, this is a birthday I approach kicking and screaming. I can relate to Logan, in the movie Logan’s Run. (Mention does not imply endorsement.) For those of you don’t know, here’s the 411 from Wikipedia:
Sometime in the 23rd century…the survivors of war, overpopulation and pollution are living in a great domed city, sealed away from the forgotten world outside. Here, in an ecologically balanced world, mankind lives only for pleasure, freed by the servo-mechanisms which provide everything. There’s just one catch: Life must end at thirty unless reborn in the fiery ritual of Carousel.
Within a domed city, Logan 5 watches as an infant’s hand is implanted with a Lifeclock, a crystalline device that changes color as a person ages. As someone approaches his “Last Day,” the Lifeclock blinks red and finally turns black, at which time the person must report to Carousel, where—he or she is told—there is the hope of Renewal, a sort of reincarnation.
Logan is a Sandman, responsible for hunting down and killing Runners, people who refuse to report to Carousel when their Lifeclock expires. Logan is accompanied by his friend, and fellow Sandman, Francis 7
The two watch a Carousel ceremony as the participants assemble in an arena, are lifted up by an invisible force and appear to be struck by electric arcs and vaporized while the cheering audience shouts, “Renew!”. Neither Logan nor Francis have known anyone who succeeded in this, but Francis believes that Sandmen always renew…
continue reading here…
I believe that the Apostle Paul’s statement,
…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. (Phil 4: 11 NIV)
and by inference, injunction — that of being content in whatever place you find yourself — is a valid if not necessary life choice. Given Paul’s history of imprisonment and shipwreck — not the kind of guy you want to take out on your new ski boat — his ability to relax when things are literally sinking reflects the degree of his faith and trust in his Lord and Savior.
But I am approaching this particular birthday kicking and screaming. Wait a minute, did I already use the phrase, “kicking and screaming?” Oh no, that’s one of the symptoms of this age, you start repeating yourself. Not only that, but sometimes, for no apparent reason, you start repeating yourself.
Anyway, I just want to say in conclusion… that I think… perhaps we can all learn… oh no, it’s worse than I thought, I can’t remember what I was writing about…