I AM 30-something.
It’s a phrase I’m saying a lot at the moment because next week it will no longer be true.
In a few days I will hit the big 4-0, and naturally I’m having a bit of a crisis about it.
Maybe age is just a number, but those milestone birthdays do often cause us to stop and take stock.
What have I done with my life? What haven’t I done?
Have my old school friends been more successful than I have? (I checked their social media. The answer seems to be yes, from what they choose to post).
It’s easy to get a bit miserable as a big birthday approaches, as we focus on all the things we haven’t achieved, the dreams we haven’t fulfilled and plans that didn’t quite work out.
As I’ve been obsessing about my 40th, I keep thinking about an old song by U2 called 40.
The chorus runs, ‘I will sing, sing a new song.’
It’s embarrassing for a vicar to admit, but it was years before I realised that the song’s lyrics are actually from the Bible, from Psalm 40.
It’s a great psalm because it reminds us that even when things seem hopeless there is always the chance for new beginnings, new dreams and plans.
They say that life begins at 40. I don’t know whether that’s true – I guess I’ll tell you next week.
But I do believe that nothing in life is ever hopeless or completely broken.
There are always opportunities to start afresh, do things differently, sing a new song.
So, as I approach the big 4-0, I’ve decided to stop worrying about the things I haven’t done, or comparing myself to other people.
Instead, I’m going to focus on everything that’s good in my life now, and look for new hopes and dreams, and new songs to sing.
Whether we’re four, or 40, or 94, there’s always a chance for life to begin anew.
So, however old you are, and whenever your birthday is, why don’t you join me this week in singing a new song?
Life begins, not just at 40, but whenever we want it to.
Go to fortonchurch.org.