Age Doesn’t Matter by Catherine Hershberger

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV)

Laura Ingalls Wilder at age 18, circa 1885 courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

I got a text from my daughter a while back. It read, “You’re kind of like Laura Ingalls Wilder. She didn’t get published until 65.”

I took a bit of umbrage to that statement, and pulled a bit of pride from it as well. I’d love to be an internationally well-known writer like Laura Ingalls Wilder, who was one of my favorite authors – as well as my daughter’s favorite author, now and when she was young. Laura’s first book, Little House in the Big Woods, was published in 1932.

I wasn’t so crazy about the 65 bit, however. I was under 65 when my first book was published, and well under 65 in how-young-you-feel-and-look years. (And isn’t that what really counts?)

However, my daughter’s statement got me to thinking about how our accomplishments aren’t limited to age. I was actually in my early 40s when I began writing professionally as a stringer for our local town newspaper. I’d always loved to write and had filled a notebook full of poems, written dozens of short stories that never made it past the Mom-thinks-it’s-wonderful stage, and composed countless school essays that always made great marks. The writing assignments that other students groaned about, I relished. I loved everything about them, from the research, to the actual writing, and even the editing—things that serve me well now as a published author.

Writing and reading have always been my passions, along with singing and acting. As a teenager I wanted to be a rock-and-roll singer or act on stage. At the time, writing never even entered my realm of careers. It was only a hobby I loved. I never made it to the limelight of center stage, in spite of the many times I tried out for school plays or musicals. I got chorus parts, but never the starring roles.

Ahh, but never give up. As the scriptures say, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV)

There is a time and a place for everything and, for some of us, that time comes later in life. Today, I’m a published author—both as a solo author and co-authoring with my husband. I sing onstage at church, praising the Lord who gave me my voice. I’m also co-writing plays for our church (with my husband), acting and co-directing in plays for our church. In spite of not making my youthful goals, I have achieved them in a different fashion, at a different time in my life and I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to. Along the way, I’ve discovered doing what you love, at any age, is satisfying beyond belief. When you do it with the Lord in mind it’s even better.

Here’s the interesting thing about how everything turned out: I believe I’m right where God wants me to be, at the time of my life he wanted me to be there. After all, if he could give Sarah and Abraham a child in their old age, at just the right time to begin His plan of salvation for the world, who am I to question why my life is where it is at this particular time?

Mine is not to wonder why, but just to do and be satisfied. So, if you’re bemoaning the fact that you haven’t “made it” yet in your chosen field, or with any other goal you’ve set for yourself, don’t. Just keep working toward that goal and relish the success, no matter how big or small, whenever it comes. For “…we know that for those who love God, all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28 ESV)

What about you? Are you right where God wants you in your life, no matter your age?

Age Doesn’t Matter (© Catherine Hershberger  3/8/2018)

About the Author:

Catherine is a member of Greendale First Church of Christ. She is also an award-winning author of sweet and inspirational romance under the pen name of Catherine Castle. Many of her devotions have appeared on various places on the internet. You can find her books on her Amazon Author page or at Barnes and Noble.

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God and New Year Resolutions by Catherine Hershberger

A couple across the row from me was loading groceries into their vehicle in my local Kroger’s parking lot at 6 p.m. January 2nd and I heard this:

“Well, we’ve already broken our New Year’s resolution about pop and junk food.”

I glanced over in time to see the gentleman setting several cases of soda into the back seat. Their resolution lasted about 30 hours. I wouldn’t call that the fastest breaking time for a resolution, but it ranks close to the top.

This is one of the reasons I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. I break them almost as fast as the couple at Krogers. Sure, I’d like to have the resolve to exercise daily, not eat anything bad for me—ever, clean the house weekly, empty the dishwasher as soon as it stops, do the laundry before it piles up as tall as me, save up a million dollars, clean out the closets and the medicine cabinets, lose weight until I’m back at my high school weight, give up chocolate, finish all those UFO crafts floating around in the basement, clean the old stuff out of the file drawers (some is so old the paper has yellowed.) My hubby wants me to turn it ALL into digital files. Like I can find the time to do that! If I listed all the things I needed to change or resolve to do in my everyday life, the list would go on forever.

It’s no wonder we break resolutions as fast as we can make them. The stuff we need and want to do can be overwhelming.

But is all that resolution stuff really important?

As I thought about this I wondered what God’s word has to tell us about resolutions. I know He wants me to be resolute in my faith, but does God care about how resolute I am in my everyday life? Does my list of New Year’s resolutions matter to him?

I dug into my Bible resources looking for an answer. Although I couldn’t find any direct commandments about New Year resolutions, I did come up with four interesting commandments about faith I think can be applied to New Year resolutions to make them more successful.

  • Following through on your resolutions requires preparation“Therefore prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” (1 Peter 1:13 NIV)
  • To succeed you must get rid of obstacles. “Since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witness, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”( Hebrews 12:1 NIV)
  • You’ll only get back what you put into the job. “He who sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” (2 Corinthians. 9:6 NIV)
  • Being resolute helps us grow stronger. “… the righteous will hold to their ways, and those with clean hands will grow stronger.” (Job 17:9 NIV)
  • Persistence pays off. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians  6:9 NIV)

I’m not certain God cares one way or the other about my New Year’s resolution list—unless I’m directly disobeying his commandments. What I do know, after searching His word, is He has provided guidance to conquer that list should I decide to tackle it—next year.

What about you? Do you make New Year Resolutions?

About the Author:

Catherine Hershberger is a member of Greendale First Church of Christ. Music, gardening, and writing are a few of her passions, all of which she shares with her husband.  She is also an author who writes sweet and Christian romance under the pen name of Catherine Castle. You can find her award-winning books The Nun and the Narc and A Groom for Mama, on Amazon