I was in Safeway last Friday, doing my usual grocery shopping for the week when I noticed this group of young women….giggling, talking, shopping and laughing. I guessed their age was 21 or thereabouts. As I watched them converse, I started remembering what it was like to be 21, back to a time when you are so young and so innocent. So hopeful and so promising.
I continued on with my grocery shopping but was a little curious about these girls’ conversation. Without trying to be too nosey, I listened to their worries and concerns…they talked about what they were going to wear on their next date…did that boy like her or not..you know, those sorts of things. Quite frankly, I was intrigued. And I had this desire to hear more of their conversation. I was definitely born with a healthy dose of curiousity and as much I was intrigued by their conversation, I also didn’t want to appear like I was stalking them.
So I kept on grocery shopping all the while hoping our paths would cross so I could keep listening. The funny thing is, as I was shopping, they seemed to follow me. When I was shopping in an aisle, they’d suddenly turn the corner and we were in the same aisle again. This kept happening throughout the store and eventually they followed me all the way to produce, my last stop before checking out and going home.
At that point, I started really listening to their conversation. Not because it was particularly unique but because I realized how far removed I was to the things they worried about. I can’t tell you the last time I worried about what I was going to wear on a date or if he liked me or when the next time I was going to go to the beach. My worries had changed since I was 21. Now I was worried about bills and money, about friends and family, about the really hard-core stuff of life. I’m not sure when that changed happen. I can’t put a specific date and say this is the day I stopped worrying about those ”21″ things. I can’t really decide if that’s a good thing or not but it’s the truth. I’ve changed. My life has changed. My worries have changed, too.
I listened a little more and what struck me about this group of young women wasn’t just what they worried about but also about how much time they had to deal with their worries. I realized how fleeting this life really is. Time flies by fast. You either grab hold of it now or soon it will be gone. And every year seems to go faster and faster than the year before.
I realized that morning that the things that were important to me at 21 are different now at 41. Maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it isn’t. But the Truth of life hasn’t changed. God is still there. He still loves me. And He will always lead me through every single day for the rest of my life. Some things never change and that is a good thing.
Next time you’re in the grocery store, stop and listen to the conversations around you and take in those little gifts, those little treasures that surround us everyday.