When our daughter-in-law was given a due date for her third child around the end of February, she decided to have her daughter on February 29, Leap Day. This was not a “scheduled” delivery with an inducement of labor. Katie simply chose to give birth to her baby on that day. And, she did.
After we sang “Happy Birthday” to that precious angel today, she immediately volunteered “I’m four!” It’s so nice that she’s not confused by the fact her actual birthday has only appeared on the calendar twice during her brief life.
Age is an interesting subject. We understand its relative applications (e.g. being old enough to begin formal schooling or drive an automobile), but what is its ultimate significance?
In his novel That Hideous Strength, C.S. Lewis says “Youth and age touch only the surface of our lives.” Quite an insight.
Like this body of ours, which we inhabit only for a limited time, in the scope of eternity our age means less than we typically think. Jesus, for example, encouraged his adult followers to receive God’s message with the simple faith “of a child.” I’ve learned firsthand that what passes for “maturity” is sometimes merely a calcification of our hearts and minds.
Our relationship with our Creator is intended to be a dynamic, living, growing thing. And, I suspect that when we’ve been in the Lord’s presence for a thousand eons it will still pulse with the vigor of youth and newness.
As Lewis wrote in The Silver Chair, “People have no particular ages in Aslan’s country.” Ages are something meant for here, for this transitory world.
Thus it’s fitting that we celebrate such transitions for those who mark birthday milestones of four, forty or fourscore. May God bless each and every child until we enter that Place where we no longer care to keep track of such concerns.