40: The Span of Time Necessary for Ripening

Last week, my brother turned 40.  He received comments like, "Life really begins at 40." and "You'll love it. This is when life starts."

Well, I have thought a lot about this time of 40 years.  I've heard about turning forty, mid-life crises, which we all hear about, and then I started learning about Hebrew. I learned that the letter Mem is also the number 40.  It represents the span of time necessary for the ripening process that leads to fruition.   Some examples are: 
  • the forty weeks development of an embryo, 
  • when Moses went up Mt. Sinai it took 40 days, 
  • the 40 days of rain while Noah and his family were on the ark, 
  • Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness, etc.  
Forty is also considered a "culminating milestone" in man's process of spiritual development.

So, I shared these things with my brother.  He was happy to know he had reached a "culminating milestone" in his spiritual life.  But really, in life we tend to look at things in a literal sense and loose sight of a larger picture.  We forget to find a more far reaching perspective at the top of the mountain.  Rather, when we choose to see things in a poetic way, we will have a greater perspective.  Our lives will be lighter and the load far easier to carry.  Why?  Because we will see things as they really are, will understand things as they were written to be understood, and then, we will apply truths the way they were meant to be applied.

And to my brother I say, 40 is a great season of life to be in.  Now that you have sufficiently ripened, your life has just begun!

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