50–A Year of Jubilee!
Consecrate the 50th year and proclaim liberty throughout the land… It shall be a jubilee for you… The 50th year shall be a jubilee for you… For it is a jubilee and is to be holy for you… (From Leviticus 25:10-12).
Two things I’ve learned about the Bible–
First, when something is mentioned more than once, one should pay particular attention to it.
Second, although there’s certainly a time to mourn (with ample examples in His Word), God isn’t opposed to seasons of grand celebration. On the contrary, there are just as many, if not more, specific examples of celebrations–festivals, parties, and parades–mentioned in the Bible.
The wise writer of Ecclesiastes said so himself–
There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven… a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance (Eccl. 3:1, 4–NIV).
Recently, it was my time to celebrate a milestone birthday. Although turning fifty did bring a few moments of mourning, even more, it’s bringing many moments of celebration. As I’ve paused frequently over the course of the last several days to think about my life, I’ve given God glory for bringing me this far, and I’m asking Him to take me on a little further.
All these selahs (moments of pause), however, have got me thinking–wondering what things really are still going strong at fifty.
Take fashion, for example–like the cute bell-bottoms I wore nearly five years shy of fifty years ago. They’ve come back in style a time or two. And what about the longevity of certain clothing rules–like Don’t-Wear-White-After-Labor-Day? In my opinion, that’s bologna!
Speaking of bologna–how’s processed pork stand up at fifty?
I’d venture to say that, if one looked into his refrigerator and discovered–just behind the jar of mayo, below a foil-covered plate of day-old brats–fifty-year old bologna, he wouldn’t want to eat it, that’s for sure.
Just ask Andy Lambros–the cute little bologna-eating fisherman from the Oscar Mayer commercial, which first aired about the time I was wearing those cute bell-bottom britches.
Lambros, who’s nearly fifty himself, has likely aged much better than his white bread bologna sandwich would have–stale and moldy as it indeed would be.
Remembering this commercial from my childhood makes me feel quite youthful. Although I had my fair share of these sandwiches–Always with mustard, not ketchup, thank you very much!–I was never permitted to overindulge in bologna; thus, I’m feeling rather fit at fifty.
In fact, it’s not infrequent that, feeling spry–dressed for church or perhaps an evening out–I’ll ask my husband, quoting Lambos, “How’s that?” He undoubtedly–being wiser and wittier–winks and says something like, “I’d better go and change into nicer attire. After all, I gotta ‘ketchup’ with you.”
Speaking of, I wonder if ketchup’s fit at fifty?
Reading up on this colorful condiment, I discovered that, unopened, it can last for up to two years past its expiration date (whatever that happens to be)–then, once opened, it lasts another year refrigerated.
One wouldn’t want to eat ketchup that’s bubbly, lumpy, or excessively dark in color, but because it contains so much salt and vinegar, it is unlikely to ever grow mold. If such is discovered, however, discard it at once. Not doing so might lessen ones trek to “ten-times-five”–cutting short the anticipation of this milestone celebration.
Hey, speaking of “ten-times-five,” I wonder–does a Twinkie really have a shelf life of that length?
I investigated this fact to find that, indeed, it does not–although this Hostess confectionary will stay fresh a relatively long time, wrapped in its little cellophane sari.
Actually, the truth is far from this. Upon reading Twinkie’s wiki, one learns that, unlike the fifty year shelf life that would total approximately 18,250 earth rotations (give or take the extra days a dozen Leap Year’s would add), this tasty treat lasts over 730 times less than that.
The Twinkie Truth then is that, still sheathed, this non-dairy, cream-filled sponge cake has a shelf life that’s closer to twenty-five days, contrary to the rumored half-a-hundred revolutions around the sun. (Phew! All this math is giving me a workout! Perhaps I’ve earned a Twinkie!)
Speaking of the sun, our earth’s life source and something we simply cannot do without–unlike bologna, ketchup, and Twinkies–it’s an estimated 4.57 billion years old, at least according to today’s all-knowing Siri.
If, however, one seeks our eternal, omniscient God to see what His Word actually says, she discovers that everything in our solar system is actually only a little over 6,000 years old. The Word, who was with God in the beginning (John 1), spoke the sun into existence just before He spoke lots of other nifty things into being–taking a formless, void place and calling forth plants, animals, and–Yes!–humankind.
Thus, the sun’s the one thing here that still is going strong (Thankfully!)–way past fifty. It was spoken into existence by the Son, who also spoke my life and yours into being. He sustains life on earth, having crafted a perfect relationship between our planet and that flaming orange, gaseous ball in the heavens.
Still, yesterday was, today is, and tomorrow will be possible only through the One who said, “Let there by light!” (Gen. 1:14), and light appeared–then concluded at day’s end, “It is good!”(Gen. 1:18), and it was…
And it is!
So hey–after all this, I’m feeling rather hungry. I think I’ll fix a bologna sandwich and–because this old dog is willing to learn new tricks–even try it with ketchup. While I’m at it and feeling feisty, I’ll try a Twinkie appetizer. After all, unlike all the components of this fine meal, I’ve made it to fifty–my year of jubilee–and, like Heinz, I’m guessing the coming days will be well worth the wait. And what could be better at a party than eating dessert first?
Afterward, I’ll sit in the sun and give God glory for another day–yes, another year!
And then, like Him–and because I’m half a century–I just might take a nap. After all, even God rested, and I’m bound to need lots of energy–because, in case I haven’t already mentioned it…
Yes, THIS is a–
Year of Jubilee!
Precious Jesus, whether we’re 5, 15, 25, 50 or 100–or anywhere in between–may we strive to become more like You as we bask in the light of Your presence! Yes, may this be our year to venture into holiness–whether we find ourselves high upon a mountain or deep in the valley’s shadows. May we daily proclaim, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let’s REJOICE and be glad in it” (Ps. 118:24)! And when we ask, “How’s that?” may we always anticipate hearing Your all-knowing, always loving answer, “It is very good” (Gen. 1:31)!