OK, so this week I turned sixty-five. In my younger years, this age seemed so far away. At that time, sixty-five was a milestone that meant you could retire. It was the age of my grandparents or that cat person who lived down the block. These were the people for whom my parents said I needed to open the door or offer to shovel their snow. Bottom line, these were people who were just old, which was something I thought, not uttered of course, out of respect.
I always considered those who have reach this age as wise. I mean, look at all the life they experienced. It says in Job 12:12 Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding? I now believe wisdom comes from the ability to sift through experiences and choices and then to apply what is learned. When that sifting is accomplished through the mesh of God’s word, the Bible, that is when wisdom is realized. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5
I am far from wise, but I have learned a few things during the few years since I was brought into this world. I am sure that some of you may already know these but I ask that you bear with me. I need to write them down before I forget.
Anyway, here are some of the things I have learned:
Everyday I make new discoveries. I was pretty impressed with this until I realized that there were really not a lot of new things. I was just experiencing something for perhaps the second or third time. I had forgotten the first two times.
If I sprint across a street to avoid holding up cars, I realize I no longer feel I am that gazelle-like creature of, oh, 40 years ago. I know I did not lose any speed since I had none when I was 25. But I think the gracefulness is gone.
Recovery is always in the present tense. I cannot let myself be fooled into thinking I am recovered. I used to say I cannot pat myself on the back because I cannot see back there and there may be a bottle waiting. Now, I have to admit that I have no idea what I may find, but I am sure it will not be good.
I can always save money by getting a senior discount at fast food places. Granted sometimes I need to ask because some counter workers think I will be insulted by them supposing I am that old. Hey, for 25 cents, it is worth being considered elderly.
I am always offered help to get the 50 pound bag of dog food from the store to my car. While I appreciate that, I wonder who the clerk thinks lifted that bag into the cart in the first place.
Our car key fob’s main purpose is not to unlock the doors. It is for all those times I do not park in my normal place at the grocery store. I simply need to walk around the lot, jerking my hand in a spasmodic-like fashion until my car calls out to me.
If, after washing my hair, I comb it straight down and look at myself in the mirror, I can see what I will look like completely bald.
My kids do not ask me to help them move heavy things anymore. Just to come over after everything is in place and help with unpacking or painting. While this is proof of my observable aging, I am not complaining. Kids, if you are reading this keep it up. Of course if you need a supervisor …
The devil does not stop his onslaught just because I am getting older and am supposed to know all his battle plans. He just pushes harder and I often find he is craftier as time goes on. Or maybe I am simply less wise.
The family with which I am blessed was crafted by God to fit together perfectly. They are always there for me to love and from whom I receive love and support–even when it is undeserved or goes unnoticed by me.
I cannot outrun God’s grace although at times it seems I try. Someday I may even write about those times.
I can do nothing without Christ. I am nothing without Christ. I have been given gifts to give glory to Him. I am simply a “jar of clay” given life and purpose by a loving Savior who gave up all to pay for my sins.
Growing older is not the point. It’s with whom I grow older. I have the Savior, a loving wife, kids, grandkids and friends. What else will I ever need?
I am not done learning. And I do not always get the sifting part of wisdom right. But I know my Savior still loves me. I know if I am alive tomorrow he has something for me to do that was specially planned for me. Sixty-five? How about eighty?
Hope you come back to read more about my trip through God’s world and all the changes. I will wait you.