Let’s go back, shall we? Back to 1997, when this song made a modest stir on Christian radio – 4Him’s “Fountain of Youth.” Why a 16-year-old me played that song thousands of times, I’ll never know, but it seems even in my high school years, I was looking for a way to retain my youth.
I’ve had something of a fascination with stories about Ponce de Leon and the search for the mythic fountain of youth. The fascination doesn’t end with Ponce de Leon, I’ve found stories of the kind all over the world, Bimini, Florida, hot springs, acai berries, the newest Rapunzel movie, Tangled, etc.
Why are we so determined to fight time?
I am convinced it’s because we think in linear terms. We have a beginning, we grow older, then we die. Every year we mark, by birthday or December 31 or school year brings us closer to that inevitable end. Humans, in general, don’t like to be reminded of their mortality. On my bathroom counter, right now, is a strange combo of products, a wrinkle-reducing night regimen that promises to give my skin a supple quality, and an acne wash morning routine, to clear up my plague of skin problems that have been dogging me since junior high. The end result? I want to look my age (only better), somewhere between newborn babe and Methuselah.
Youth sells. For every geriatric early century church in the US trying to make it, there are 3 or 4 storefront churches populated with 20’s and 30-somethings making Christianity as mainstream as an iPad, and making videos like this.
For many, youth = relevance. I suppose by virtue of being born in 1980, I’m still considered relevant, but me and all the other millennials will be justifying our meaning and message in about 20 years.
As the old year goes out, represented by Father Time, and a new year is rung in, represented by Baby New Year, I’m more convinced than ever that our perception of time is skewed. God’s time isn’t linear, but multidimensional, infinite, cyclical and circular and all-encompassing. We cannot judge God by our time and expectations. That said, Christ came to bring living water to those who thirst. Living water brings eternal life, for which so many of us are searching.
What have you done to try to hold on to your youth?