My birthday is coming up this Friday (And if you want to get me a gift, you should totally click that “moving to Canada” button over there). Ahem. Anyway, I’ll be a whopping 29. That’s right, go ahead and bemoan me for how very young I am. I suppose, like all tortured, misunderstood souls (pffft) I’ve always felt a bit older than my calendar age. Maybe it’s because I married in the 11th grade. Maybe it’s because I had a baby at 17. Maybe it’s because I became a grown up so much younger than most people so it feels like I should be practically middle-stinkin-aged by now.
Whatever the case, I feel like I should just be able to go ahead and claim 30-somethingism. After all, my other-half has already been in the club for a couple of years so that makes me an honorary member or something, right?
Why be so eager to join the old-lady club? Because here’s the curious thing about 30 somethings that I’ve noticed: They are shout-from-the-roof-top sort of proponents of grace. Jamie The Very Worst Missionary curses about it, Carlos Whittaker tattoos about it, Shaun Groves sings about it. The People of the Second Chance ride it around town like a pimped out grace-mobile.
And I think I’ve figured it out, why 30 something’s are so in ever-gracin-love with grace:
They’ve been alive long enough to need it.
Or to really, truly realize they need it; to realize that we’re all just one dumb decision or reaction away from needing a get-out-of-jail-free card. Basically, they’ve lived long enough to make some whoppers of mistakes. And making mistakes, particular ones that you swore you’d never make, ones that you previously judged other people harshly for, sends your self-righteous paradigm crashing to the ground like a modern day tower of lolspeak Babel.
So when you see or hear of others transgressing the same dumb crap, you’re more likely to put a consoling arm around their shoulder, than an accusing finger in their face.
Because, let’s be honest - life, and love, and the future, and God were so much more black and white back when we were babes. When we were ignorantly vibrant young 18 or 20-somethings. We thought we knew what we stood for and what we believed and what we deserved and what we’d never do.
And then life got gray. God got gray. The future got so gray we couldn’t navigate it even with our Holy Spirit fog lights on. And we bumped into a lot of dumb, painful crap while we stumbled around in the dark. We stubbed a lot of spiritual toes.
But when the fog finally let up, when the tornado of inexperience and assumptions finally released us – we could see again, and much more clearly, in fact. We stepped out of our spiritual blindness like Dorothy into Oz. Things weren’t as simple or as black and white anymore, but they were better. Brighter. Life, and God, and the future were suddenly in freaking technicolor.
And by that point we also generally had little people pitter pattering around us, dancing for our affections. Or something.
Anyway. Grace. I get it. And I get why 30-somethings get it.
And because I’m so graceful now, I promise to wait around patiently until you get it, too. I’ll even have band-aids ready for your stubbed toes.