my empire of dirt


She wasted all her school time wanting to be the age she is now, and she’ll waste all the rest of her life trying to stay that age. Her whole idea is to race on to the silliest time of one’s life as quick as she can and then stop there as long as she can.

— C.S. Lewis, The Last Battle

I screamed an internal “Amen!” from my seat within a flying hunk of metal, thankful that Lewis echoed what I’d found to be true.  As college classmates, former co-workers, and even my extended family of teenagers appeared in a hurry to enter a stale stage of emotionless security, I vowed to remain childlike.  Much more appealing than holding a Monday to Friday job or participating in a men’s bible study was becoming the unassailable voice of my generation.  Did they ask me to speak for them?  Details.

Maturity can be a difficult force to resist — circumstance dictates the pace and necessity.  As my peers delivered children into the world and climbed significant rungs of success, I spent my time making coffee.  Student loans are eternally forgiving, so what if offering the minimum keeps me anchored until I’m fifty… small price to pursue a life of security and a modicum of the Holy Spirit.

Dad gut over my golf shorts, I look less childish these days.  White hairs salt a beard that transitioned from gimmick to distinguishing feature.  This Sox cap conceals a balding scalp, but it’s only a matter of time.  My career can be classified as a career, and the extended queen shared by my wife and dog dwarfs my 30-year-old twin bunk.  For all intents and purposes, I am everything the man I appear to be.

I don’t enjoy the kids’ music.  People have become more selfish.  The government doesn’t reflect my personal values.  Waaaaaaah… I am sooooooooo old.

But my whole idea was to oppose the silliest time of one’s life for as long as I could and skip by it as quickly as I could.  As dramatic as the battle was against these forces of evil, I could use a rest.  I claim defeat.  I accept my age and even choose to take joy in it.

How about that, twenty-something Anthony?


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