"Beauty Before Age"

"We're gonna live forever!" 
"Forever young!"
      If you live in America, these sayings are not foreign to you. In fact, it is a worldwide state of mind for most.

      We dye our hair when it gets gray, we buy younger looking clothes to keep up with the trends of the generation, we buy make up and ageless skin creams... and for what? We have become ashamed of our age. But, why is this desire to be "young" or live forever embedded in the human heart? What is it about aging that is so repulsive? We live in a culture where we put beauty before age. As the saying, "Age before beauty" goes, it means to let the older go before the younger. Although that is just a light hearted expression, age has precedent over beauty when it comes to privilege, but not preference.

      You could search the internet for HOURS looking at beauty surveys, make up product popularity, ageless skin care and the list goes on. I will spare you the details of my findings, but one thing I did find interesting to note is that a study in Japan found in 2011 that, for women, the exact age at which beauty begins to fade is 35.09 or 33 days past your 35th birthday! (There are different opinions about which age beauty starts to fade in men.) Crazy, right? By whose standard is this? That's my point. 

      I am not a big fan of beauty contests, because how can you tell someone that they are not as beautiful as another? And we wonder why we have low self esteem. We have set a FALSE standard for beauty. The reality is, true beauty is found underneath the make up. Now, I am not saying these things are bad or wrong in and of themselves. Of course we all want to look good when going out on a date or hanging out with friends. It is when we begin to resent our age or try to dismiss it, that we end up deceiving ourselves. And no matter what we do, we can't stop ourselves from aging. 

      Nowadays, I see little girls 10, 11 or 12 years old wearing make up who look older than me! Now, we all know we all go through that innate stage of being a child and wanting to be older. However, it reverses when we finally DO get older, and then we want to be younger. Why? I am writing on this topic because, lately, that has been a theme that keeps popping out on social media and even on advertisements. I went to download an app for photo editing and the sample picture was of a teenage girl with the words, "I'm going to be forever young." Now, that sounds cute, but it's not practical. But I've seen so many go to great lengths to look a certain age. And it's pretty sad. 

      I am not saying this applies to everyone. There are some who do not feel this way or follow the trends. And that's ok, too. 

      Okay, maybe your'e reading this and thinking, "This has nothing to do with me. I couldn't care less about cosmetics." And I agree totally with you. Do you remember the question I asked in the beginning of this blog? Let me refresh your memory: "Why is this desire to be young or 'live forever' embedded in the human heart?" 

      The reason we try to stay young, the reason we try to hold onto life as much as possible, and the reason it hurts when life is lost. The reason you look up at the stars at night or the sky during the day or just look around you and you just know that there has to be more. Where does that come from? And how come everyone knows it? Because you were created to exist forever. The bible says, in Genesis 2:7, "Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being."

      Think about that! Man was formed from the dust of the ground (God's stuff)...and GOD breathed into him the breath of life (also God's stuff). God use HIS breath to bring man to life. And if God is eternal, and He said, "Let us make mankind in our image and likeness---" then we are like Him in our being. There is a fine difference (according to Google) of definitions between ETERNAL and IMMORTAL. While they both mean, "to exist forever," only eternal means to have no beginning or end. So, I would say we are more on the immortal side when it comes to the soul. We have a beginning. Man became a living soul. 

      So, the bottom line is this. You were created to live forever somewhere eternal. Earth is not eternal, so we can't  hold onto this life. Death is scary for most, but death is sure when your life is secured in Jesus Christ. Only God gives eternal life to those who believe. So, the next time you hear or see anything about eternity and living forever, know that it's true. But where you spend it is the most important decision you will ever make. Are you ready to live forever?