Do you know any senior wannabes?
Underclassmen — especially freshmen — have always envied these advanced aristocrats.
As a lowly 15-year-old with a learner’s permit, I drove with Mom beside me. Seniors, on the other hand, often drove in their own cars, the ultimate in coolness.
While we freshmen sweated Algebra I and basic biology, seniors studied calculus and genetics. They were the star quarterbacks, the strutters on the musical stage, the academic superstars. They wore their steadies’ class rings wound with angora. Their slips didn’t show, their shoestrings didn’t trip them, and when they laughed in the cafeteria, chocolate milk never squirted out their noses.
At our school, they owned the Senior Circle, etched into the floor. Underclassmen caught touching it scrubbed the Circle with toothbrushes while the entire school watched.
Even when a senior, I stepped into the Circle only once — ready to hit the floor if attacked by toothbrushes.
For me, the Senior Circle didn’t live up to its billing.
Neither did the fabled senior year. I still didn’t understand algebra. The starring role in the musical went to somebody else. I achieved my driver’s license, only to have two accidents. I gained the boyfriend, then had to give back the class ring. Graduation was bittersweet, with many goodbyes.
Strangely, reverting to freshman status recharged my batteries. I explored a fascinating, new world: college.
Decades later, I’ve achieved senior status again. Not many wannabes stand in line to join me.
Who signed me up for this senior club when I wasn’t looking? I still don’t know algebra. I hear not-so-distant rumbles about taking drivers’ tests again. (Noooooo!) Starring roles go to younger people.
Where’s the Senior Circle in all this?
For many of us, grandchildren light it up like a movie marquee. No angora adorns our rings, but they’ve worn sweet grooves into our fingers and our hearts. Longtime friends, belly-laugh memories, and watch-TV dinners in which we don’t have to be good examples fill our days. Quiet wisdom gained only by those who have walked the road, won and lost — all these and more make our Senior Circle special.
Best of all, the God who drafted 80-year-old Moses to lead a national exodus still inhabits the Senior Circle. He inspired Caleb, a geriatric commando, to conquer a mountain inhabited by giants. He told 87-year-old Anna a secret few knew: the newborn she blessed at the temple was Jesus, the Savior of the world — including seniors.
God urges us to live, grow and achieve, and to look forward to graduation. Yes, it will be bittersweet with many goodbyes.
But we can become heavenly freshmen, exploring the infinite, fascinating world we will inhabit forever with Jesus.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: What do you think of growing older?