Not Ugly Just Old
I did it again. I looked into the mirror. I have to stop doing that, but too many of my routines call for it. Every time I look there is another hair growing where it shouldn't, the gray is more prominent, another wrinkle creases my skin, which is dry and flaky. Don't get me started on my profile. I've gotten so ugly that my driver's license photo makes me look good. 😕
There are benefits to growing old but physical isn't one of them. But I am going to put a positive twist to my inevitable dilemma. I'm not getting ugly I'm getting older.
Our culture is so optics driven that it works endlessly to stave off what eventually happens to all of us. Cosmetics and surgery might give the illusion of keeping it at bay but old age will poke through eventually.
But what will people remember me for? Will it be my youthful vigor or indiscretions? Will they say that he aged gracefully? I hope there will be something more substantial, like Epaphras.
When the Scripture gives only a few words about someone we should take notice because it portrays the true essence of the individual. Epaphras is mentioned three times, twice in Colossians and briefly in Philemon. He is well known by the believers in Colossia and was a currier of news between they and Paul. So what did Paul have to say about him?
"from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf and has made known to us your love in the Spirit. Col. 1:8"
Epaphras will be eternally known as one who was loved, a servant, faithful prayer warrior, and hard working (4:12). All of this for the sake of the gospel. People loved him because he didn't think of himself first. He grasped the depth of God's grace and tirelessly worked to bring the good news to his family and friends.
They didn't see a judgmental bible thumper, but an industrious lover of Jesus. They knew that he would take their needs to the throne of God and petition Him on their behalf. He wasn't a flash in the pan celebrity preacher but a faithful, in it for the long haul shepherd. He struggled, not with doubt but with God. Not for himself but for others. That is what the people saw when Epaphras walked into the room.
I have been a follower of Jesus for a long, long time. I pray that I am cultivating the character that points people to Jesus and not to myself. I want to get past the feelings I have when I look in the mirror and appreciate what God has spent years developing on the inside.
I'm not ugly, I'm old. With age comes a deeper appreciation of what truly matters. It's what is etched on my heart, not what is etched on my skin. I'm just saying.