A friend of mine has a saying, “I’m going to get as old as I possibly can get.” From what I can tell, he has. I must agree with his sentiment. Of course, the alternative is… well you know. Another friend of mine likes to tell me, “Brother, you’re only as old as you feel.” I am not sure how old feels or if wrinkles are involved. But, I am feeling quite fine, thank you.
Just the other day the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage came in from her workshop, sat down on the couch and said, “Whew, I feel like a hundred.”
At the time, I did not know if she was talking about dollars, pounds or years. Being the old fogey that I am, I know there are times when silence is golden and this was one of those golden moments. But, what does a hundred feel like? Is there some special sensation that pulsates through the body when a person reaches that age level? Or, is it the absence of anything pulsating through your body?
Just this morning I got up with a sore knee and could hardly walk to the bathroom. I complained about it to my wife, who has no compunction about expressing her opinions, said, “Well, you are older than when you went to bed last night.”
I did not know I was aging so rapidly. If this keeps up, I will change from an old fogey into an old geezer before I know it. The difference between an old fogey and an old geezer is, an old fogey walks around in a fog while the old geezer cannot get up from his chair and wheezes a lot.
I was musing on the idea that getting old was a lot of trouble with a lot of pain involved. Then I remembered what a lot of trouble and pain it was to be young. As a youngster, I thought many times, “Oh, I can’t wait to get old.” I thought getting older was the panacea for all of my problems.
I remember thinking that when I got older nobody would boss me around. I would do whatever I wanted to do whenever I wanted to do it. I could not wait for that time to come. I dreamed of that mystical land. No parents to boss me around; no teachers to tell me what to do and when to do it; no siblings interfering with my plans for the day. What a life I would lead when I got older. I lived each day hoping to get older which, in my thinking, was the door into that area.
Just as I was entering that mysterious realm of being my own boss, I got married. Not only that, but several years into that marital bliss came the pitter-patter of little feet in the hallway. I did not figure that getting older would involve so many people in my life. Just going to the bathroom, for example, was a three-day wait. And, guess who is at the bottom of the list?
I guess you know you have gotten old when you give up the idyllic idea of being your own boss, doing whatever you want to do, whenever you want to do it.
Now that I think of it, it was a lot more painful and a lot more troublesome to be young than it is to be old. In fact, there are some marvelous advantages of getting older.
For example, when my wife sends me to the grocery store to get a few things I usually forget something. Now, that I am getting older, I can tell her that I do not remember things as I used to, after all, I’m getting older.
Also, when someone invites me to go out and play what they call senior softball, I can always say, “I would love to, but my knees are acting up now that I’m getting older.”
This process of getting older has drastically improved my social life. Every joke I hear is as if I am hearing it for the very first time. It is amazing.
My wife and I were at a social function not too long ago, and I was having a marvelous time. When we got home, my wife said to me, “You put on a good act tonight.”
“What you mean I put on a good act?”
“You laughed at every joke tonight as if it was the first time you ever heard it.”
I did not have the heart to tell her that it was the first time I heard those jokes. That is what is so marvelous about getting old. You do not have to burden your brain, and all the little gray cells in it, with remembering things. My brain is now free to enjoy the moment. It is wonderful getting older.
When I was younger, it would embarrass me if I forgot something. Of course, I blame that on my parents and teachers who tried to pound into my little head that I needed to remember everything. Now that I am older, I do not have that burden.
It is good to remember some things. I remembered one of my favorite Bible passages. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6 KJV).
I will never get too old to trust the Lord with all my heart.
The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail email@example.com. The church web site is http://www.whatafellowship.com.