“Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?” Job 12:12
“Age-Defying,” my daughter’s friend, Journey, read the label aloud as we stood next to each other, applying makeup in front of the bathroom mirror. My bottle of foundation made this marvelous claim. “So how’s that workin’ for ya, Mrs. Burma?” Journey continued in her teasing tone.
Not missing a beat, I stroked my cheek while replying, “Beautifully! Why, I look one year younger every day that I apply it. Right now, I’m at age 25. Can’t you tell?”
“Uh, Yeah…right. Sure,” she laughed, along with my 17-year-old daughter, who now stood in the doorway, rolling her eyes at my ridiculous response.
“Don’t deny it…Defy it!” The Revlon© commercial tells me. Okay, so maybe I don’t look 25 anymore… maybe I can’t completely defy my age with my magical makeup. But the claim sure sounds good, doesn’t it? A closer look at my bottle reveals the ingredient, “Botafirm™.” Impressive. Any product containing the word “firm” appeals to a woman over forty (I don’t deny it!) and sounds like it’s worth a try. I found out this mysterious ingredient is a “patented blend” shown to reduce the signs of aging. According to the same commercial, a whopping “95% of women say it visibly helped relax expression lines instantly.” My amazing make-up also “instantly firms skin” AND “completely covers flaws.”
Most of my life, people have guessed me to be older than I am. And that was great, up until about age 25 when some thought I was in my upper 30’s. (You can imagine where the guessing has gone from there.) At age 36, a store clerk asked me if I would be using my senior discount (ouch).
We become so sensitive about our age, don’t we? Enough to purchase products that claim to help us defy it, because we long to be younger. I mean, who wants to look their age? (Or act it, for that matter!) So I got to thinking, why would I wish to be younger?
(1) No fine lines. Ah, but a closer look at my “expression lines” reveals years of such skin-stretching exercises brought on by laughter and tears, concern and grief, sorrow and joy.
(2) Fewer flaws. Wait a minute. Though my flaws have changed in form from acne to age spots, they’ve always been present. The last I checked, my character flaws, my failures, and my flub-ups were just as numerous in my youth as they are now in my more mature years. Oh, for a product that could completely cover these flaws.
(3) Smaller signs of aging. Ah, but some of those signs are telltale marks of experience, of lessons learned, of understanding and wisdom gained, all by the grace of God.
In His infinite wisdom, our Creator formulated you and me each uniquely with His “patented” blend: our appearances and our abilities, our personalities and our passions, our circumstances and our circles of influence are unlike any other. Christ alone completely covers all our flaws with His perfect forgiveness, purchased for us on the cross and at the empty tomb. I may not always possess the firm skin of my youth, but even better is the Firm Foundation I’ve found in my Savior.
Another birthday looms in the not-too-distant future. As I smooth a little “age defying” makeup over my face, I’ll giggle a little! More importantly, I’ll praise God for another year of life, completely covered by His grace…and I’ll try to act my age – neither denying nor defying it. I’ll continue to pray for wisdom and understanding as I search His perfect Word.