“nobody cares about you after 25”
That’s a big statement. Honestly it disturbs me. I have this understanding that I think is how followers of Jesus are to operate and this doesn’t fit. This was a statement that Trent said while we were talking Tuesday night. I got a lot out of our time with Trent. He’s a great example of a guy who is living a great life following Christ. But that statement bothered me.
It’s not that I disagree. I asked him if that is the way it is supposed to be and he just said “that’s the way it is”. I think in practice he is right, Trent’s a realist and I think that is reality.
But it doesn’t mean it has to be that way. To tell the truth, I still want to be cared for and care for others. I want to be loved and to love. I’ve heard a local say for a long time that in the final analysis the thing that matters in life is who we love and who loves us. Now that sounds more like the way of Jesus that I know. It also sounds like what I want.
I recently spent some time with a friend and mentor who was encouraging me in the faith. I was talking about some particular relationship issues that I was dealing with. It’s been a a painful situation and has produced a lot of struggle in me. Very early in the conversation I was struck that the root of the problem was simply that I wasn’t loving the other parties.
Dallas describes love as intending the best for someone. This seems like a simplistic way of viewing love, but as definitions go I think it stands nicely. When I look for the best of the other person I am willfully looking for what is best for them and that is truly what we all want isn’t it?
When I realized the position I was in I was able to change my attitude and realize that the problem was that I was really looking out for my best and not the best of the others in the relationship. It doesn’t make it easy but it does make it clear. Clarity means a lot.
So what does this have to do with the fact that nobody cares about you after 25? For me, it means that I will stand against that reality as is currently is. I still want to be loved and to love deeply. That takes a lot of effort and time and energy. That takes extra-ordinary effort really. But it is more of the way that I want to live than any other way.
When Jesus said “love your enemies” he wasn’t saying that as a punishment or consequence to being a Christian. It isn’t that when you’re a Christian you have to do these difficult things that no one on earth would really want to do. He is saying that loving others is the best way to live. Period.
I want to be a man like that. At 25, 45, 75 or 105. I still want to love and be loved. I’m going to do it.