Encouragement

When We’re Old Enough, Again

My Dear Lucy,

I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound, you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can take it down then from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand, a word you say, but I shall still be

                                   Your affectionate Godfather,

C. S. Lewis

Do you remember being six years old, and dreaming of the day when you would be old enough?

Old enough to wear pearls.

Old enough to watch that movie.

Old enough to go to the Christmas party.

Old enough to stay up late.

Old enough to get married.

Old enough to get a motorcycle.

Old enough to go to work with Dad.

Old enough to grow a mustache.

You longed and dreamed and anxiously waited for the day you would be old enough.

I did.

The funny thing though, is that now that I am what I used to believe was old enough I find myself wishing I were still young enough.

Young enough to climb trees.

Young enough to not understand why saving money mattered.

Young enough to not have a to-do list.

Young enough to play all day, everyday.

But wait a second, I tell myself, there’s something to learn from the little girl who couldn’t wait to be old enough. 

What a dedication inscription made me realize…

I went through some of my favorite books today, just flipping through the pages and reading my favorite passages, not an unusual occurrence. One of them was a hardback edition of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe with the beautiful illustrations by Pauline Barnes. I love that book so much. When I opened it to find my favorite part though, I didn’t go to the first chapter, or the last chapter, or any in between. I went to the dedication page, with the words: “To Lucy Barfield” elegantly scripted across the top, and a short inscription below.

My Dear Lucy,
I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound, you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can take it down then from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand, a word you say, but I shall still be
Your affectionate Godfather,
C. S. Lewis

This is my favorite part. It has become more so the older I have gotten. Little girls do grow faster than books, and in their silly pride they do find themselves too old for fairy tales. They are occupied with other things. Like hair and clothes and friends and school. Which are all good things, they are natural things for a growing girl to become busy with. But sometimes, we lose something in the process.

We lose the dream of “one day, I’ll be old enough.”

Old enough, now…

In my last post, a book review on Joni: An Unforgettable Story  I talked about how we long for the day when in Heaven, we will behold the face of Christ, every tear will be wiped away, every wound will be healed, and the King will be seated on His throne in the Kingdom of gold streets and endless song. Everything sad will be made untrue. Death itself will be dead, and life will be an endless journey of growing joy.

when in Heaven, we will behold the face of Christ, every tear will be wiped away, every wound will be healed, and the King will be seated on His throne in the Kingdom of gold streets and endless song. Everything sad will be made untrue. Death itself will be dead, and life will be an endless journey of growing joy.

How easy it is to forget that. Especially for those of us that are finally old enough to have stopped dreaming. We are so busy in the now, we forget about the later. Sometimes we ask ourselves, “what’s the point?” when we forget what lies ahead. What is there to look forward too? We already grew up, we’re already old enough. I don’t know for sure, but I think this might have been what Lewis was getting at.

Dear young people like myself, who think you are finally old enough and realize that it isn’t all you once thought it would be. Life is about getting this done, and making sure that isn’t late, and figuring out who should go there and do this. That’s part of growing up. That’s the responsibility of being old enough, and it’s important. But with great reward, comes great responsibility, and I think this is the part we so often forget or misunderstand.

Our responsibility comes in being old enough now. Our reward comes one day when we are old enough, again.

Old enough, again…

Old enough to see His face.

Old enough to no longer suffer.

Old enough to walk the streets of gold.

Old enough to look back and see the full story.

Old enough to stop growing old.

Old enough to be home.

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Here on earth our bodies grow weaker the older we get. This is part of living in a fallen world. Here, our responsibilities must be done while we are old enough to do them. We must go to work, and pay the bills, and work the logistics. We must endure hardship, and trials, and suffering. But one day, oh one glorious day, we will be old enough, again

One day we’ll be old enough to hold the hand of a grandchild or friend and say, “All this time, I’ve been waiting. Hoping. Longing. Now I am finally old enough to go Home.” And when we see His face in glory, when our tears are wiped away, and our bodies made new, unable to grow old anymore, we’ll see that we are finally old enough, againAnd it will be better than having been young enough and worth being old enough the first time. It’ll be the only dream we have dreamt that is perfect when it comes true.

We will be able to say, “the dream has ended. This is the morning.” And we’ll call to the Saints coming in behind us, “Further up, and further in.”

Don’t look down or behind, but ahead…

So now that I’m old enough in the eyes of my six year old self, to wear pearls, and to drive, and to have a job, and to go to those Christmas parties, I choose to stop wishing I were young enough to climb trees, and play, and be carefree again. Because all I would do if I went back, was retrace these same steps. What’s the point of walking up the stairs toward something, only to walk back down and do it again? I’d never get anywhere. Instead, I choose to long and hope and wait and dream of the day when I’ll be old enough, again.

Funny, the things a dedication inscription makes you think about, isn’t it?

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “When We’re Old Enough, Again”

  1. Oh my !!! what precious words you dear Madelyn have shared to inspire & encourage this “Old” friend!! I do look forward to when I “Shall Behold His Face”. Joni’s testimony is one of perseverance & her faithfulness to our Lord.

    Liked by 1 person

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