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Growing Up vs Growing Old

With another birthday coming up on me, it's time to take inventory. I have to clean out some old habits and actions to make room for the new and improved ones; I have relationships and friendships I need to check on - and some I need to "check off"; and, of course, I need to consider whether I am fully appreciating and using this life and the abilities God has given me.

Each year, I like to remind myself that I am growing up and not just growing old.

Growing up means maturing - in spirit, wisdom, thought, and actions.  Growing up takes a willingness to learn from mistakes and make appropriate changes. Lots of people live long enough to grow old.

As I get ready to take this "inventory" of my life, I'm looking at some of my habits and pleasures. I need to figure out which things are still a source of happiness for me and which one I keep only to "maintain." Let me explain what I mean by that:

While watching the documentary ("Unguarded") about Chris Herren, the former basketball player, I noticed something he said about his drug use. He'd once enjoyed using drugs and alcohol but, when the addiction took hold of his life, he only used to keep from being "dope sick."

"Dope sick." Wow.

How many of us are using things other than drugs to find our escape and pleasure? How much of those things are we letting take hold of us to the point where we keep up with them to fight off dope sickness?

Part of my self inventory is to figure out which pleasures in my life that I need to put the brakes on before I lose control.

A few years ago, I wasn't as mature as I am now. I had grown older, of course, but I wasn't maturing as much as I needed to be. When I went through my previous abusive relationship, then got sick, I was forced to grow up in a lot of ways. That's when I realized that some struggles are really warnings. God's blessings didn't get my attention as much as those struggles.

This year, I hope to look back on the past with more clarity. I'm praying for God to cleanse my heart of all the nonsense I have let in.



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