Youth is something you want to discard while you have it and recapture once you don’t. Is it not one of the great ironies of life that many of us begged for the day we could drive a car, or earn a paycheck, or drink a beer only to reach that place and find it unfulfilling. Suddenly, we want our parents to pay the bills again. We miss going to school and playing basketball with our friends in the afternoon. We miss how our bodies did not ache and how they seemed so much better looking back then, even though at that time we noticed all their flaws.

When we lose our youth we realize something scary has happened. We have entered the stage where suddenly we are not the one being protected. Now we are on our own. The next stage is that we become the protectors and providers. Death is coming.

The end of youth is reminder of aging. That back pain, that headache, the fading eyesight, the difficulty we have hearing, all these things signify the temporality of our bodies. These things expose the fact that we are so very finite.

Once we envied adults. As adults we envy youth. We are never satisfied.

Resurrection doesn’t promise us youth, but it does seem to promise an aspect of youth that we’d like to retain. If resurrection is to occur it is the day we resume the type of bodily existence that though constrained seems free. It is not that Jesus’ resurrection brought him back to us as an adolescent. Rather, he seems have the energy and strength that we see in youth, except it would never depart again. Youth reminds us of death as age, but it can remind us of resurrection as well. It reminds us that bodily existence can be wonderful, and beautiful, and relatively painless.


See also:

Birth in the Shadow of Death

Lent in the Shadow of Death