The era of responsibility is not never making mistakes. It’s owning up to them and trying to make sure you don’t repeat them.

Oh, I’ve made plenty of mistakes. Mistakes with money, mistakes with time, mistakes with words, mistakes with actions, and a myriad crises of inaction. Many, many, many mistakes, some of which plague me with a swift vengeance, and some of which hurtle back from years past to give me shooting pains in the gut. I have been a terror, and am always in need of grace.

What I’ve found is that the older I get, the gladder I am for my advancing years. Mistakes, I make them as always. But with hard-won awareness comes the pleasure of the company of a better self. While I still muddle in puddles, a few more storm drains get sidestepped these days and the flood plains remain in the distance. I’m doing more thinking upon, and less mouthing off, even if it doesn’t seem that way to passers-by. Accelerated maturation in this old skin, maybe.

There’s still a long way to go before I can lay claim to anything of substance, and I am still staving off relinquishing some childish fears and things. But hey, I’m not going to take the measure of myself in hours and days and years — these imposed divisions of lifelong labour:

Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith, “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!”

Or to put it more simply and truly:

Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.


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