Seasoning of Life

Two men fell on hard times. Try as they might, they couldn’t find work. They heard that a museum was willing to pay $50 apiece for live rattlesnakes so, in desperation, they decided to catch snakes.

Outfitted with a net and basket, they hiked to a remote area renowned for its large snake population. But as they scaled a steep ledge, rocks gave way and they tumbled down a slippery bank – into a deep pit crawling with rattlesnakes.

One of the men quickly sized up the situation and shouted to his friend, “Look! We’re rich! We’re rich!”

Okay, maybe he didn’t fully appreciate his predicament. But in most situations, I believe there is a sunny side. Take aging, for instance. As we grow older, our skin turns from satin to cotton to seersucker to corduroy. And though we might be encouraged that at least wrinkles don’t hurt, valuable experience, deep understanding and hard-won wisdom can also come with years of living. Some people are merely aging  –  others are “sageing.” The difference is in outlook.

It has to do with how we consider our situation. Like a sign spotted outside a quaint shop: “We buy junk. Antiques for sale.” I wonder, is my attic full of junk or antiques? What about my life? I’m learning it’s a matter of perspective; it’s a matter of how I want to look at what comes my way. And it’s also a matter of choice, because perspective is something I choose more often than I realize.

I’ve learned that my greatest power may well be my power to choose my outlook. As Abraham Lincoln wisely said, “Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” The truth is, I can choose to view tough times as growing times, I can choose to see aging as seasoning, and I can choose to focus on whatever good there is to be found in living.

I choose. After all, it’s MY point of view.

And so, we pray: Father, I’ve never used the word “seasoning” as a way to describe my aging. But I like it. Help me to choose to focus on whatever is good there is to be found in and around me. Help me to look forward to the seasoning of my life as we move along through these days. Amen.

Grace and Peace

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