The value of a person.
I started thinking that maybe God could have done it better if after we reached adulthood, we could get these old decrepit bodies in our twenties, then work backward to the physical health we had then. It would be SO much better if we could have the health we had in our twenties, and the wisdom we get in old age! But then God showed me why he did it this way:
We start off as babies – and we’re cute, and sweet, and lovable. We’re not very “useful” at this point, in terms of “work” or “productivity”. What we are is pure love… (and CRAZY amounts of energy!) and in the pure love of a child, you can see God.
Children grow, and learn, until their late teens/ early 20’s when they’re considered “adults”. Talk to any 20 year old, and they’re convinced that they’re going to go out and conquer the world. Talk to any 50 year old, and they’ll say, (as I do), “I was SUCH an idiot when I was 20”. But we still have physical beauty and strength and grace…. and TONS of energy! This is what the world primarily values, which is why young people are exalted above all others in society.
Once we start getting over 50, the people that are still exalted tend to be movie stars — people who have had reconstructive surgery to maintain some of that 20-something appearance, and who have enough spare time to live at a gym to maintain their levels of physical health such that they’re not overweight and they’re in superior physical health. These people are exalted as examples of what every aging person “should” be able to achieve — remember, the world is still valuing those physical attributes. (So physical health, coupled with “achievement” of earning millions.) The *rest* of us, however, may be in jobs that test us to the limits of our abilities — but not necessarily physical abilities. I became a software engineer, which means that I spent years sitting and typing… and *thinking*. I also spent much of my younger life doing a lot of physical work, which is why my body is damaged today — my back, my knees, my hips…. car accidents and hard work will do that to a person. And it’s easy to question God: why he couldn’t make it so that with the wisdom of experience, and the wisdom I’ve gained through the grace of God that I have today, why couldn’t have my 20, 25, or 30 year old physical self back. Then I’d be in a position where I really COULD conquer the world — (in a figurative sense). In reality, though, it would be much like in my 20’s. My physical abilities would serve as a distraction, and I would be greatly tempted to forget God, thinking I could do everything on my own. At this broken down point in my life, the value I have is wisdom – even if most 20-somethings don’t recognize it yet. and by giving the 20-somethings the physical health, their value is their strong backs – the ability to do what I can’t. Otherwise, I’d never want to deal with their ignorance, their lack of wisdom and temperance, and their self-absorbed attitudes. In all reality, it’s having children that taught me temperance, experience that started me on the path to wisdom, and being broken that forced me to look back to God, who still holds us all in value.