The other day I turned 30.
January 3rd as a date wasn't as interesting as I thought it might be. 30 brought with it no fears or epiphanies, it is just another number for me.
See, when my mom turned 30 I remember her being devastated. The doctors office she worked at had black "Over the Hill" balloons and put her in a wheelchair. I remember her feeling as if she had left her youth behind when she entered her new decade. I remember watching the episode of Friends where they were all depressed about turning 30. So, either I missed something or there was nothing to be missed.
I actually was hoping by turning 30 there might be fewer "Wow, you're so young" comments, although that's likely not going to be true. In fact, you may be reading this and thinking "Wait till you turn 60."
Turning 30, though, gives me a chance to look back. Birthdays and other milestones are awesome opportunities to look back and take stock of things. Perhaps that's where the pain comes in for some. But for me my 20's was a great decade of growth and connections. I graduated college, got a job, married a wonderful woman, bought a house and have a baby on the way. I have nothing to complain about and God has been with me each step of the way teaching me.
As I say farewell to my 20's I want to share three lessons I learned in those ten years.
1) I don't know everything.
In my teenage years and early 20's there was a temptation to believe I knew everything. Coming to college I was so sure of life and what it meant; I was so sure of what I was going to do with my life. Then life happened. John Lennon famously sang, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." Lennon is right. While I had detailed plans coming into my 20's my plans were drastically changed and I thank God for that.
When we learn that we don't know everything we learn that questions are often more beautiful and necessary than answers. Learning to ask good questions has done more for me than regurgitating previously known answers.
2) My parents know more than I thought.
The older I get the more amazing my parents become. Don't get me wrong, I'm under no delusion that my parents are perfect, but teenaged Matt had no idea how good he had it. In my 20's I got enough independence to realize how easy my parents made adulting look. They raised kids like they knew what they were doing meanwhile I'm terrified at the prospect of not knowing what to do with my little boy on the way. In a few months when my son is born I'll get back to you on my newfound appreciation for my parents level of genius.
3) Who God is is the most important thing to know.
I've not had a lot of suffering, but in my 20's but I had times that demanded I trust God. From wondering if I'd ever meet my wife to dealing with death and infertility, there have been times that required faith. Through books and friends and pastors I've learned so much about the character of God. I've been taught this last decade that when life is chaotic the only thing that isn't is the character of God. I've learned through experience that the character of God is the only thing worth leaning on in faith.
So, farewell 20's. I can't say I'll miss you but I can say it was fun. My life changed for the better in most every way and I can't wait to see what's in store for the next decade. I don't know what God has for me but I do know that trusting in who He is will steady me no matter what comes my way in the next many years to come or simply today.