Growing up has become equated with simultaneously growing old. Age, though, isn't a calendar thing; but a heart matter. Some in very young skin live with a foot in the grave due to restrictive and negative habits of thinking. They live afraid of others' shadows. For heaven's sake don't tell them they have one of their own.
Fear is such an unnecessary bully. It causes some to believe they should not dare try to break the rut now experienced. Yet, they surely should push back. God is not one of fear but of love. Love is vibrant and determined to conquer everything; including the highest mountain of blatant intimidation.
General Douglas MacArthur once wrote, Youth is not a period of time. It is a state of the mind, a result of the will, a quality of the imagination, a victory of courage over timidity, of the taste for adventure over the love of comfort. A man does not grow old simply because he has lived a certain number of years. A man becomes old when he has deserted his ideal.
The years wrinkle his skin, but deserting his ideal wrinkles his soul. Preoccupations, fears, doubts, and despair are the enemies which slowly bow us toward earth, and turn us into dust before death. You will remain young as long as you are receptive to what is beautiful, good, great; receptive to the messages of men and women of nature and of God. If one day you should become bitter and pessimistic and gnawed by despair, may God have mercy on your old man's soul.
When I met Jesus I walked into a den of life. I had no idea how confined I had chosen to live. Church didn't pour cold water on me; it watered me. I now grow. I am a growing being with a bent upward instead of bowing to earth's magnetic tug toward pessimism.
Shoulders back. Chins up. Eyes forward. March toward the Light.