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  • Maggie Wallem Rowe

The Top 5 Things We’re Still Too Young For (and one perfect day in Manhattan)

What a week it’s been, my friends!

When I wrote you last, I was a mere child, only 69. But when this past Monday arrived, I glanced at a mirror and was stunned to see an honest-to-goodness septuagenarian gazing back. (Fitting that it takes a full seven syllables to describe this advanced age.) My friend Lynne sent me a t-shirt that boasts, “I’ve survived the sixties twice!”

If you’ve reached midlife or beyond, maybe you think you’re too old to learn to ski/ grow your family/ write that book/ live in another culture/ fill-in-the-blank.

But have you stopped to think that there are certain things we are still too young for?

And the #1 thing we're still too young for? Granny panties! (thanks, Jill)

After suddenly losing my longtime, same-age friend Cindy in March to a death that seemed patently unfair, I had been watching the approach of the milestone we had planned to celebrate together with trepidation. It felt like a strange dog coming towards me on the sidewalk. I didn’t know whether it would bite me or lick my hand.

Yet thanks to the extraordinary thoughtfulness of family and friends, the canine’s been kind. I’ve had enough new experiences and mailbox surprises to make me eager to turn 80 (though not just yet.) Mike gifted me with a weekend trip to New Jersey to celebrate the special day with my birthday twin, grandson Everett.

June 12, 2023. Everett and I turned 7 and 7-D today!

But before that?

One perfect day in Manhattan with daughter Amber, whose savvy navigational skills took us all over the city by foot (10+ miles), subway (New Yorkers are surprisingly genial underground), and two-wheelers (biking around Central Park.)

Our ferry was "Miss New Jersey" - who knew that boats could be title-holders?

Here are a few snapshots of our adventure!

Why is it that the launch of a fresh decade feels like New Year’s Day on steroids? It’s a tabula rasa – a blank slate to be filled not with urgency but rather intentionality. As we grow closer to our new life to come, we’re not so much interested in making resolutions or filling buckets but instead living our days in ways that are deeply meaningful.

I’ve been asking the Lord for months to show me what He has for me in my seventies. Do I write another book, become more involved in the community, fill interim pastorates with Mike?

What new assignments might He have for me – for you – in this latter stage of life? How do we know whether it’s Him or whether it’s hustle – our own desire for personal significance?

So many questions.

And this morning, the answer came not from an unexpected source but a familiar one. A passage from the Old Testament prophet Micah that I’ve loved for decades, but with a phrase that had escaped my notice until now.

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8




God’s requisites for life on this side of eternity. Got it.

But how can we determine His will for our future? How can we ensure we’re not missing out, messing up, mucking around when we want to live purposefully instead?

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

We stop, reread the passage.

There it is. If our eyes go right to the Lord’s requirements, they skitter past the promise.

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.”

A past tense reference for the present that provides assurance for our future. He has shown us what we needed in the past – that which was good– so why should we doubt his leading now?

Yes, Virginia, there are still things we are too young for.

We are too young to give up.

Too young to stop reaching out and reaching up.

Too young to quit acting justly, loving mercy, walking humbly with our God.

We’re simply too young for any of that, my friends.

- Maggie Wallem Rowe

Thanks to daughter Sarah for the yummy cake!

Maggie Wallem Rowe writes from Peace Ridge, her home in the mountains of western North Carolina, when she's not traveling the world in search of the perfect chocolate cake.


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