There is something about turning forty. You have proven yourself to be a survivor. You have survived your teenage years and all the learning experiences that you had to learn on your own. Yes, it would have been easier to listen to your parent, but what did they know? Other than everything. It is great when you see a teenager that has success at a young age but it doesn't ruin their lives or the lives of people around them. A good example of this is Taylor Swift.
There are many people in life that have success when they are young. They have made lots of money and life is good. Taylor Swift achieved success by the age of sixteen. She became a hit songwriter and has made a connection to her fans through her music. When Taylor sings about getting her heart broken by her boyfriend, her fans understand and have felt her pain. When Taylor sings about castles and white horses and fairy tales coming true and love saving the day. Her fans understand and sing along with the words to her songs. Taylor knows how to relate to her fans. To Taylor's fans, she is not a star, she is a girl with a guitar, who understands who they are and what they want, They want to be like her.
Let's be honest. Not everyone is going to have a success story like Taylor Swift. Taylor is not alone. Some people will achieve success in their twenties and thirties and then there are the rest of us. The people who go to work on Monday's and on days when we don't feel good because come Friday we are going to need every dollar of that paycheck to pay the rent. We are the people who get paid weekly but know which months have five paydays in it. May would be a great month. That is the month that car insurance is due. September is also a good month for an extra paycheck to get the kids enrolled in school and buy school supplies and book bags.Hopefully one of those will be December so we can buy presents for our kids. This was my life.
Forty is a wake up call. What have you done with your life? At the age of forty, I was working at Dillon's grocery store. I had been at Dillon's for twelve years. I was divorced with three kids. Driving a used car that was worth less than a thousand dollars but I was thankful it was paid for. Yes my life didn't have the ring of success to it. I am not complaining. I did and still do feel very blessed by God. I am thankful for all of my blessings and I am content with my life. Would I like a better car, a bigger house, more money in savings, sure you bet. Sign me up, but that would just be more icing on the cake.
I was reading the story of Moses yesterday. Moses was an Israelite who was born during a difficult time. Pharaoh, the King of Egypt had made a decree that all baby boys had to be killed. Moses parents could not kill their beautiful baby boy. They hid him for as long as they could. They were able to hide him for three months. They took Moses and placed him in a basket that would float and set it in the river. Pharaoh's daughter, the princess, came by and saw the baby. Moses was like a puppy to her. She took Moses home and begged her Daddy to let her keep him. How could he say no to his little princess?
That is an interesting story. Pharaoh, a ruler that hated Israelites, has a Jewish son/grandson living in his home. I would bet Pharaoh felt exactly like me when my son Jordan asked if we could keep a stray kitten. We didn't need a kitten but because I loved Jordan and wanted to make him to be happy, we were now the proud owners of a cat.
I wonder if Moses was like my stray cat. That cat really liked me. He wanted to play with me, sit by me, and purr when I held him. Moses was probably the same way. He probably loved to sit on Pharaoh's lap and listen to him read stories to him. He may have played catch with a ball in the backyard of the palace. Moses might of painted pictures for Pharaoh to hang on the kitchen walls. Moses had a very gifted life. He was an Israelite living in a mansion. Going to the best schools with the best teachers. His friends were the smartest and brightest kids around. What a life! Isn't it amazing how God works?
At the age of forty, Moses went to visit some of his relatives. While he was there he saw an Egyptian mistreating an Israelite. I believe Moses had a deep compassion for the Israelites. He truly loved them and wanted the best for them. I am sure that Moses had seen the Israelites mistreated all of his life. I bet it broke his heart when this happened. Moses might of assumed that being a member of Pharaoh's home would help him to be a leader for the Israelites. Moses stood up to the Egyptian and killed him. Moses probably thought that the Israelites would accept him as their leader but they didn't want him to be their leader. Moses decided the thing to do was to run for safety.
Moses would wait another forty years before God decided to use him to lead his people out of Egypt. God let Moses know that he was the leader when he spoke to Moses from a burning bush. God didn't want Moses to lead his people at forty. He wanted him to do it at the age of eighty.
This story reminds me of a lady who had the nickname Grandma Moses. Grandma Moses's real name was Anna Mary Robertson Moses. Grandma Moses worked hard all of her life. She worked on other folks farms and that was where she met her husband. She was always a creative and artistic person. Moses like to create embroidered pictures of yarn. She did this until the age of seventy six when her arthritis started acting up. Her sister suggested that she take up painting. This would be easier on her arthritis and cause less pain in her hands.
Grandma Moses started painting. She loved to paint. She started out selling her paintings for three to five dollars depending on the size of the picture. As her paintings became more popular she sold them for eight to ten thousand dollars. When she was asked, " What she would of done for a living if she wasn't selling paintings? " She replied, " I would of raised chickens."
This is the favorite part of this story. As Grandma Moses painted the arthritis in her right hand started hurting. What would most people do at this point in life? Probably quit painting would be the answer most of us would expect. What did Grandma Moses do? She switched hands. She painted with her left hand. I love this story.
To wrap up this story. Grandma Moses went on to become one the most successful painters ever. A career that she started up at the age of seventy-six. One of Grandma Moses's pictures that she painted and sold was later sold for 1.2 million dollars. After hearing this story how could anyone ever stop trying? Age doesn't matter. After reading this story I might have to start practicing playing a left handed guitar in case I ever get arthritis in my right hand. What a story!