Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

2.04.2011

Don't Act Your Age

“Act your age!” people chidingly say. It’s meant to be an impetus, a device used to shame someone into acting with more maturity. But I’m turning twenty-one this year and I’ve decided something: I’m not going to act my age. I’m turning twenty-one, but I reject the behavior of the typical twenty-one year old. I reject the box that society wants to group twenty-one year olds and twenty year olds and sixteen year olds in.

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.


Picture Credit
Historical Facts Credit

9 comments:

  1. I strongly agree with you. Whenever I am so happy and someone asks me what my age is, it's like they are depriving me of the right to be jolly. It's me and that is who I am since then, a happy person and that will not change just because my age is increasing. What is important is that I am not stepping to anyone and I am not committing any sin.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think it's so incredible that Nathan Hale lived only 21 years, yet today, he is a well-known historical figure. I am 21 years old, but if I died today, I don't think anyone would know but my friends and family. His life (and death) inspire me.
    Your post, Lauren, makes me think of a bunch of things. The excellent book "Do Hard Things," which no doubt you have at least heard of, if not read, and the verse in 1 Timothy 4...
    "Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
    Jeremiah was 13 when God called him (I love Jeremiah 1:6-9) And Josiah is one of my favorite people in the Bible--he became King of Judah when he was 8, and began to seek the Lord "while he was yet young," at 16. 1 Kings 22:2 says he "turned not aside to the right hand or to the left." At 20, he "purged the land" from the false gods and altars and high places. I love Josiah because he stood against the ungodly culture in a time when there was no-one to tell him to do right. His father who had been king before him did evil, and the people were evil, but Josiah broke away from all that and decided to seek the Lord. His life also shows the power of godly leadership, because all the people followed his example and did what was right. Because of the choice of a 16-year-old, the Bible says "like unto him was there no king before him that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him." (2 Kings 23:25)
    Thank you for this challenge and reminder, Lauren. What a good start to my day! :)
    Love, Kelsey
    ps sorry about the long comment, I seem to always do this when I read your posts. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes! Like Kelsey, I too see "Do Hard Things" in this post. If you haven't read it, please do. If you have, that's great, because the entire message is just what you are saying. Thank you for your insight!
    Elyse

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sey--So good to hear from you again! You're right, as long as our conduct is God-honoring, there is nothing that should keep us from joy! I know a seventy year old lady who is constantly bubbling over with joy and enthusiasm!
    Kelsey--Never apologize for a long comment; I love reading all your thoughts! To be honest, I hadn't even thought of Josiah and Jeremiah as examples, but, as you beautifully described, they are indeed perfect examples of what I was talking about and mulling over.
    I am curious as to where you found that Jeremiah was 13 when he was called, as I only seem to find that he was a young man, and was called in the 13th year of Josiah's reign.
    God bless, Kelsey!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Elyse--lol! You ladies have discovered my flaw--I have never read Do Hard Things! Thus, I can honestly assert that this post is not plagiarized, but I must also hang my head in shame that this book has been on my "must-read" list for some time now, and I still have never read it! I'll add that to my list of 2011 goals, since I have heard from many different people that it really is a vital, relevant book!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ah, you are right Lauren, my mistake. We don't know exactly how old Jeremiah was, just that he thought he was incapable of speaking, but God did not think so! :)
    Isn't it neat that God raised up a young prophet at the same time as young King Josiah was seeking God! There is power in youth, if you "harness" it and use it for God's glory.
    God bless, Lauren!
    Love, Kelsey :o)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love this! Thanks for posting, Lauren. :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Victoria--Praise the Lord! It's great to hear from you!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Amen to that Lauren. This post hit home to me. It almost feels like I wrote it - and I didn't! Too many people have this fixation on age and life accomplishments. Being under 30, and independently separate from the ties of a daily job confuses people. I get told I need to go to college, and I am too young to not have a career and cog around as they do. Cameron Johnson is another one you can add to your list. Starting his first business at age 12 or something along those lines making thousands of bucks, yet his parents still wanted him to get a job. And I do realize that Jobs and age and independent work, may be a little off from what you meant in your post. But usually most people associate independent business with people of middle age or older. Great post liked it a lot.

    ReplyDelete

We love comments like we love sunshine and chocolate and chubby babies!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin