Recently, I had somebody that I care a great deal about look at me and say, “I’m past my prime.”
I remember that moment and the words have stuck with me for days and days now. I have been wrestling with what was said and I just cannot erase it from my thoughts. I have wondered what it means to be over yourself. To be so low down that you cannot see the light that is hope. Now, I won’t give you the context of that statement but I will say that it is a terrible place to be – and if I were honest I’d say that it is a place that I often find myself.
I first must dispose the entire misconception that we are to pursue the American Dream. The idea that every guy is to be this 180 lbs., muscular firefighter who is married to Mrs. Universe. I won’t harp on this idea because it is a song that has been sung too many times in Christian blogs. If there is a faster way to feel “past your prime” than to pursue the american dream, I’d like for someone to let me know. The reality of the pursuit of pleasure and possessions is that your muscles can be cancer stricken, your job can be stripped over you and your wife is a fragile, fragile gift whose very next breath is not guaranteed. That’s the reality of it all – but once our house is purchased and our fence is installed we feel immortal and that’s the american dream.
But I don’t mean to teardown ideas – this is not a place to revive ideas that will weather a person but rather prescribe truths that recreate an individual. Rather than spending time disposing ideas I will propose something that we can live by. You most certainly are not past your prime – for you were created in and are being recreated into the very image of God.
Sit on that for a moment. Flee from the flesh and cling to the cross. That old rugged cross that seems so past its prime represents both death and life. The cross represents so much more than the death of Jesus – the cross was means of regular punishment. It symbolized death and obedience to the law. To give heed to what the cross beckons was to give attention to a dark and binding world. Jesus faced it head on and Jesus leaned fully into that world insomuch as he gave his entire life to the cross.
In those days in which Jesus lay in the tomb I believe many would believe that Jesus was past his prime. Disciples and believers gave witness to that very truth as they returned to their normal way of living. Believers began to live as though Jesus was old news – that he was past his prime.
That was all over once we see the resurrection. It is in the beautiful image of the resurrection that we must rest when we feel like a dud. Because you are not a dud – you, brothers and sisters, are new creations.
Romans 6:5–11 says, “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”