Did you know…?
That Joan of Arc was only seventeen when she was riding at the head of the army that liberated France from the English?
That John Calvin was twenty-six when he published his “Institutes”?
That John Keats died when he was twenty-six?
That Shelley was thirty when he was drowned, but not before he left English literature his classic “Odes”?
That Sir Isaac Newton had largely discovered the working of the law of gravitation when he was twenty-three?
That Henry Clay, the “great compromiser,” was sent to the United States Senate at twenty-nine and was Speaker of the House of Representatives at thirty-four?
That Raphael painted his most important pictures between twenty-five and thirty?
That Mozart only lived thirty-five years?
Of course, most of us will never achieve the prominence of these extraordinary individuals. Nor should we — we are each cut from a unique pattern. But many people feel as if they should be leaving more of a mark on the world. When I was a young man I wanted to make things happen. After a few years I realized I would have to content myself with watching most things happen. (Now I often find that I have no idea at all what is happening!)
It helps to remember that there is a time for everything – and everybody. Our time to bear good fruit may be yet to come. In fact, we may do our best work, or find our unique place, later in life.
Colorado aspen trees grow vigorously. After the devastation of a forest fire, frequent occurrences in the Rockies, aspens are sometimes the first trees to return. They re-forest an area quickly,providing shade for slower-growing spruce and pine saplings. These evergreens grow slower, but may live many years longer than the aspens. Each tree grows in its own time.
So does each person. Some people come to fruition quickly, others contribute more significantly in later years.
If you’ve not yet come into your own, don’t worry. Tend to your work and aspirations with care. Don’t give up; but rather be patient, for growth can be slow. Remember, storms and trials can be devastating, but experiences can also prune you and make you stronger. With proper nurture, you will in time enjoy a full harvest.
There is a time for everything and everybody. And the time to begin is now.