The number 30.
In our world, turning 30 years old holds so much weight. That number serves as the marker of success; we’ve been told all of our lives that there are certain things that should be in place before you turn 30. Owning a home, moving up in your career, getting married and having kids are just a few.
I, too, believed that I was supposed to reach this pinnacle of “success” by the time I turned 30. In reality, I’m nowhere close. I live at home with my mom, I’m technically unemployed, and I don’t even have a prospect for marriage , let alone have someone in the picture to take me on a date. I’m sky-high in student loan debt, and I’m becoming a college student all over again in just a couple of weeks.
My life looks nothing like I thought it would at 30.
But I am in the right moment.
You see,the number 30 is the number that denotes the perfection of divine order, the right moment, dedication. (source)
30 is the indicator that something is beginning when it should, taking its rightful place in the world, a new level of commitment to goals and aspirations.
Jesus was 30 years old when he entered His ministry. (Luke 3:23)
David was 30 years old when he became king of Israel (2 Samuel 5:4)
Joseph was 30 years old when he began ascending the ranks in Pharaoh’s house. (Genesis 41:46)
The years prior to age 30 served as moments where these individuals learned valuable lessons that propelled them into their divine moment. It was the years that came after age 30 that set them apart and created a long-lasting legacy in the earth.
Too much are we consumed with not having all that society says we should have by age 30. What I’ve come to realize is that the greatest opportunity for us to have all that we desire comes after the 30, not before.
I was talking to a friend yesterday about the pressures (socially or self-imposed) that we face as we turn 30. We both agreed that we want the money, homes, cars, career success, and happy love life, and more often than not, we want it sooner than we can really handle it.
The final conclusion was this: God wants us to have all of those aforementioned things, however, acquiring them takes a little longer than what we’d like. Why? Think of it this way: the longer a tree is planted in the ground, the longer its branches become and the deeper its roots grow. God’s process forces our roots to grow extremely deep before acquiring too much — this way, when the proverbial storms of life come, we aren’t toppled over by a little wind and rain. Society’s way of giving us the same desires doesn’t allow for our roots to grow very deeply. We’re like saplings in a hurricane, quickly snapped in two by the weight of our desires.
This revelation has taken the pressure off in many ways! You may look at your life and say, “I don’t have xyz yet… and it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen by age 30.” Trust me, it’s okay. This is just a time for your roots to grow deeper!
I’m looking forward to turning 30. I’m running towards it with arms outstretched because I know this is my right moment. I don’t find it coincidental that a week and a half after I turn 30 I’ll begin seminary at Emory University. I’m no Jesus, but turning 30 and entering ministry is quite a parallel. God is so funny.
Those who are reading this probably cover the entire spectrum: successful and happy before 30, still finding your way post 30, and many more. If things aren’t looking quite like you’d like them, it’s okay — let those roots grow deeper and branches expand a bit. You’re in the right moment. You’ll see.
On the Chase,