In fact, I’m so disillusioned by the whole “tell me your age and I’ll tell you how mature you are and what you should have accomplished by now” mentality that I think we need a new scale of measurement. After all, saying that I am twenty merely means I have been around the sun twenty times, and how irrelevant is that?
Moreover, if we are constantly striving to act our age, then our standard is changing yearly to adjust to the new standard which, by the way, is peer- and society-based. In Lafayette’s day, for instance, I might not have objected so strongly to the standard. Back then, “Act your age!” meant “Go to America and help lead the American army to victory!” In Nathan Hale’s day, “Act your age!” mean “Give up your life and be a noble man to the end!” In Jane Austen’s day, “Act your age!” meant “Finish that book you started about that girl named Lizzie!” And I’m all too afraid that in my day “Act your age!” for anyone between eighteen and twenty-two merely means “Figure out what you want to do someday, and enjoy your youth!”
Is it any wonder that I—and so many of you, I’m sure—am tired of acting my age? Instead, I choose to act like Christ.
His years as a twenty year old aren’t recorded, but we can assume that those years spent between twelve and thirty were not wasted in frivolity or aimless searching for purpose. Those years were filled with guided, purposeful maturing and preparation for future ministry.
So in 2011, the age of the radically immature, I refuse to act my age. I refuse to devote the next years of my life to selfish pursuits. I refuse to learn to disregard my parents’ counsel, and I refuse to view “moving out” of their home as the height of maturity.
I want to buck the fad of age generalization in other ways, too. I want to tell a child, “Eighteen is simply the latest you should graduate from high school—really, you can graduate much earlier and then start the rest of your life!”
I want to encourage my siblings that I gained certain privileges at certain ages, but they may gain them at different ages, since our parents also reject the idea of a magic age entitling them to certain privileges.
And instead of raising my standard just a little bit every time I finish another trip around the sun, I want to raise my standard to the incredibly high level of the Son of God right now. So while you won’t find me acting my age, I pray you will find me acting like Christ.
For your interest and better understanding of our society's low standards of maturity:
At age 12, Albert Einstein taught himself Euclidean geometry and dedicated himself to solving the riddle of the “huge world” and mathematician Carl Witte received his Ph.D.
At age 15, baker’s apprentice Hanson Crockett Gregory invented the first ring doughnuts by knocking the
center out of a fried doughnut and Anne Frank wrote the final entry in her diary.
At age 16, Joseph-Louis Lagrange became a professor of mathematics in Turin.
By age 17, Felix Mendelssohn had already written twelve symphonies
At age 18, Blaise Pascal invented the world’s first calculator
At age 20, Jane Austen wrote Pride and Prejudice, Bill Gates dropped out of Harvard to co-found Microsoft, and Lafayette came to America to help win the War for Independence.
At age 21, Thomas Edison created his first invention—an electric vote recorder, and Nathan Hale died.
Historical Facts Credit