"He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He
increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the
young men shall utterly fall, But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew
their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall
run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint." (Isa
I have a birthday coming up soon, but I decided not to put any candles on my cake this year. I thought that 46 of them might ruin the icing or set off the smoke alarm. The funny thing, though, is that when I looked in the mirror this morning I didn't see a middle-aged man looking back at me. Sure there was gray in the hair and wrinkles around the mouth and eyes. The skin wasn’t as smooth and the hair wasn’t as thick either, except in the ears. Yet, when I saw his smile and the twinkle in his eyes I felt as vital and alive as I ever had. I saw the young, loving spirit living inside this aging body and knew that is who I really am.
I remembered too one of the quotes on a beautiful plaque that my daughter gave me as an early birthday present. It was by Edward Bulwer Lytton and it said: "It is not by the gray of the hair that one knows the age of the heart."
It is such an amazing thing that we can grow younger on the inside while we grow older on the outside. Some of the most loving, joyous, and vital people I know live inside ancient bodies that have seen far better days. These people live from the soul. They love from the heart. They have an enthusiasm for life that is contagious. They smile often, laugh a lot, and take life one day at a time. On the inside they are far younger than I could ever hope to be. They remind me that old bodies don’t always make for old hearts.
I hope then that when your own birthday comes around that your heart will feel as young as ever. I hope that you will remember that you are not numbers on a calendar or candles on a cake. You are instead a being of light and a Child of God. You are an eternal, loving soul. You are a forever young spirit. Your body may age, weaken, and eventually die, but you never will. May you live all of your days with love, laughter, light, and joy.
By: Joseph J. Mazzella