There are so many facets to it and it is never static, but always revealing new aspects of itself... challenging the artistry of gracefulness in the midst of it all.
There is a distinct beauty that belongs to youthfulness alone; this kind of beauty is so fleeting... any attempt to try and hold onto that which is destined to depart is not only futile but desperately sad and pathetic as well.
I admire those who have and are aging gracefully. Vitality of spirit is an inward aspect of youthfulness that need never depart, it is immensely attractive and sparkles with Life and Purpose. The most amazing thing about vitality of spirit is that although it is an inward work, it is too powerful to be so contained and it works its way outward, giving a radiance to the countenance and a vibrancy to our whole demeanour. I know that for this to be true of me, this vitality of spirit must come from God, as His Life's Purpose fills and sustains me, and as I look to Him and am radiant.
This January I celebrated, yet another, 50something birthday... however, it was the day before that I really felt the impact of this. I've never yet had an age that I didn't welcome eagerly... only this time the number just seemed, daunting. There is no such thing as going back or holding fast at this point - from here on out it's "hold your head up high and walk on!"
I have such a sense of "laying aside every encumbrance". Of casting off those things that hinder and entangle, that no longer serve nor reflect the woman that I am today. Of embracing more and more the good work God has begun in me and will be faithful to complete. Well over 50 years ago, it pleased God to hear me take my first physical breath and utter my first physical cry. Twenty-nine years later it pleased God to reveal His Son in me and to hear me take my first spiritual breath of Life and utter my first spiritual cry of "my Lord and my God!" These magnificent colours and hues have been painted onto the canvas of my life, and all the days and moments that reflect the dark and the Light have also been placed there by the same Hand. While the canvas of my life may not yet reveal the fulness of the completed work, the Artist is purposeful in all the colours that He places and allows to make up the whole. Some of the darker shadows and hues I myself would have never chosen, yet The Promise of The Artist stands...
"... God causes ALL THINGS to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."
It saddens me that we all too often stop here and forget to go on and find out what The Purpose of God is, because it is in the following verse that we find purpose in even the harsher strokes of The Artist upon the canvas of our lives...
"For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son..."
The colours painted onto the canvas of our lives all contribute to one and only one purpose... that the completed work will be us, perfectly conformed into the image of The Artist Himself!
I sought the LORD, and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears,
(I) looked to Him and (was) radiant...
Psalm 34: 4-5