Have you ever noticed how, in many Disney princess movies, the thing that the evil queen fears the most is getting older? And the thing she hates the most is the young and beautiful?
I was recently watching Tangled. (Well, actually I was listening to it while the kids watched it on a too-long car ride.) (I know, this is pathetic.)
Anyway, I was watching Tangled when the realization of Disney’s fear of aging hit me. I began thinking about other princess movies where the evil queen is afraid of getting older, and I came up with several examples.
So look, here’s the deal. As I get older (ahem), I find that I care less and less about my appearance, and I’m no longer hyper-focused on how I look and what others will think of me.
And let me just say this: I wouldn’t go back to age 19 to save my life. I actually like who I am right now and I love the stage of life I’m in.
So why is getting older portrayed so negatively in the media? I believe it’s because we live in a culture that worships beauty and youth, where even my little kids understand that you are supposed to be young and beautiful (or handsome) as opposed to older and perhaps not as outwardly beautiful as you once were.
I recently bought a new Bible because I wanted a more literal translation of God’s Word. (Stay with me here.) I decided to transfer some of my notes from my old worn-out Bible to my fresh new one.
I think our lives are a lot like my two Bibles. A new one looks good, right? It hasn’t been written or scribbled in, there are no torn pages, and everything is fresh and clean, while the old one has a few ripped pages here and there, has been defiled by drops of spilled coffee, and handwritten notes cover many pages. In short – the old one is worn out.
But my old Bible is precious to me. It’s the first Bible Peter gave me, shortly after we married. There are notes in that Bible from the first seventeen years of our lives together. I’m excited about my new Bible but I’m more comfortable with my older one. Does that make sense?
As I was transferring my notes from my old Bible to my new one, I came across Genesis 7:6.
Do you know how old Noah was when the flood began?
Six hundred years old.
Yes, you read that correctly. He was six. hundred. years. old.
At the age of 600, this man built a massive boat, gathered tons of animals onto that boat, and waited out a flood which would destroy the entire earth. Do you think he was worried about being too old? I don’t know. Maybe he was. But guess what? He still obeyed the Lord.
In recent years, I have begun thinking that I might be too old to serve in certain capacities at our church. To be honest, our church in Georgia was filled with young twenty-somethings, and I started believing the lie that perhaps I wasn’t cool enough or hip enough.
But these things just aren’t true. (Well, actually I’m not cool or hip enough but those things don’t actually matter.) Life is about seasons, and there are certain things we just can’t do in certain seasons of our lives. But that doesn’t mean we will never be able to participate in those things again. It’s just a season.
I realized I could serve in many other ways, too. Having been married for eighteen years, I have been able to share wisdom learned through the hard times of our marriage. I have encouraged other moms in their journeys by writing for online publications. And now that my children are a little older and more self-sufficient, I can get more involved in the worship ministry again.
Here’s the deal, friend. The next time you’re feeling too old or too worn out and you just don’t know where you fit in, remember Noah. Or remember me! And let the Lord remind you that “wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old.” Job 12:12 (NLT)
Now if we could just convince Disney to get on board…