Saturday, August 05, 2006

Growing Pains

OK, so I turn 33 this month and "aging" has seemingly been on my mind alot lately. I've always been, and will continue to be, as much as possible, youthful. My wife and I constantly shock people when they discover our age as they usually assume that we're in our mid–twenties. For those of you who don't know, for years I was heavily involved in the independent music scene. Going to concerts, performing interviews with top bands, even creating and running an internet radio station for a time. Looking "scene" and creating a certain persona about yourself simply came with the territory. Cool hair, vintage clothes and even the occasional accessories were a staple. Now, merely months after being neck–deep in it all, it seems pretty ridiculous looking back. I still think I'm pretty hip (OK, I know that I am – ha) and I still wear tons of vintage clothes simply because I love them. I don't however have to make sure that I look as "attractive" as possible or wear the tee shirt of the most "in" band of the moment in order to prove anything to anyone.

While over at a friends house for a weekly Bible study last week, a couple of people commented about the shirt that I had on. One of the guys said, "Yea Joel, you sure are looking preppy tonight." As I laughed on the outside, inside I was saying "What?!?! No, it can't be!" Many of you may find this funny or downright ignorant to even bring up, but it started some serious thinking in me. I guess that you'd have to know me to understand. You see, I generally stood out a bit in "regular" social circles. I was never known to have "normal" hair or wear clothes from GAP (nor will I ever) or just blend in. As I flew past thirty, I swore with confidence that staying young was no big deal and nothing would change that for a very long time. I am responsible, I run my own business, I'm mature and overall pretty considerate really. But what I've found is that I'm becoming less and less interested in how cool I am and more concerned with things that truly matter. I must admit, this is surely the direction that God desires me to go and deep down, so do I. It's been a lifelong struggle for me to keep from trying to please others all of the time. I've always been a man for every occasion, or at least tried to be. But, thankfully God is growing me up. He is changing my thinking, changing me. May I continue to leave behind the negative attributes of being young and cling to the ones that keep me vibrant for the Lord. The fact is, whether Jesus comes or if I simply die – in sixty years or so, I won't even be around anymore. Just don't ever call me "preppy".

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