March 19, 2020by Reverend Dan on March 19, 2020
“Even in your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made you, and I will bear you. I will carry you, and I will save you.”
Eighteen days ago, I turned 60-years old.
I have mixed emotions about that. On the plus side, eighteen years ago cancer told me I wouldn’t live to see this birthday. It was wrong.
On the downside . . . 60-years old is the age I remember my grandparents being. And they were OLD. Plus, stuff on me is starting to break down. My wife (she’s younger than me and keeps telling me I’m not old, but she has to say that kind of stuff, I think it says so on the marriage license) – my wife and I decided to go in the yard during the first weekend of the self-quarantine and do some work. We didn’t plan on staying out there seven hours, but we did. And Lord knows, I didn’t plan on paying for it the next day (OK, the next 3 days), but I did.
As I sat in my chair that night with my ice packs and heating pads and Ibuprofen and Extra-Strength Tylenol, I had two fingers that I could still feel that worked, so I got my laptop and starting Googling ways to get feeling back into my limbs. It was then that I found out that some folks think getting old is funny. I came across a list of ways to tell you’re getting old, and at first, they did seem humorous. Until I realized they were all true. Then they stopped being so funny.
You know you’re getting old when:
- The only parts that don’t hurt . . . are the parts that don’t work.
- You hear your favorite song . . . in the elevator.
- It takes two tries to get up . . . from your chair.
- The top three speed dial numbers on your phone . . . all start with “Dr”.
- Your wild oats . . . have turned into bran flakes.
But the one that really got me talked about three sisters – aged 92, 94, and 96 – who lived together. One night, the 96-year-old drew a bath. She put one foot in, but then paused and yelled, “Was I getting in or out of the tub?” The 94-year-old hollered back, “I don’t know, I’ll come and see.” She started going up the stairs, but stopped halfway up and shouted, “Was I going up or coming down?” The 92-year-old was sitting at the kitchen table drinking tea, listening to her sisters with a smirk on her face, laughing at how old they were getting. She shook her head and said, “I hope I never get that forgetful”, and knocked on the wood table for good luck. She yelled, “I’ll come up and help both of you . . . as soon as I see who’s at the door.”
Body deteriorating - check. More and more forgetful every day - check. It’s confirmed – I’m getting old. And at first glance this journey doesn’t seem to hold many things to look forward to.
Except. The Bible talks an awful lot about gray hair, and the wisdom and honor that comes with it. And it also talks about the joy of a lifetime of memories that only growing old can provide. But most of all, it talks about a God who is with us throughout all our days, and the home He is preparing for us after the final effects of time have taken their toll.
Maybe getting old is all about perspective. Looking forward was always fun and exciting, mixed with apprehension. But looking back is joyful and rewarding. Thanks be to a God who gives us the opportunity to see life . . . from both ends.
“Father, throughout all our days, keep us in the shadow of your wings, and help us to appreciate the gift that every day is. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.”