“Age doesn’t matter”, “It’s more a matter of mind than of years”, “Think young”, “Life is determined by the events we remember instead of the amount of days spent doing them.” I wish I could have thought to collect all the wise sayings I’ve either said to someone or heard said to someone through the years to try to encourage them as their birthday’s come and go. Isn’t is strange how something like a birthday can go from the most exciting event of the year, to “Oh no, I’m another year older?” As you likely have guessed by now, I am having another birthday tomorrow. I’ve had enough birthdays to pass that now, when I fill out one of those things online that ask for the year of your birth that it takes all day for the phone to roll back to 1946. It is odd when it goes from the day when you rushed to open the door for older people to the day when some young person opens the door for you and looks at you as though you were now that older person that needed help. Have you noticed that the steps to almost every place you enter have gotten taller and there are more of them than they used to be? It must be some kind of conspiracy or maybe it has to do with the Covid-19 virus.
As the youngest child in a large family, I think I just always thought I would be the young one and that getting older was just for my brothers and sisters. But I can tell you this the moment some young turk comes up and ask how it fills to be getting old, he had better duck or he will learn how it fills to be lying on the floor looking up to see what happened. The other thing that is so odd about this whole thing is that when I see pictures of those folks I grew up with on Facebook and they have aged so much it makes me wonder what happened to them. I’m sure glad I am not showing those signs of aging in my pictures. Of course, I did have some guys at a recent Preacher’s Luncheon giving me a hard time because on a new book I published recently that I had given each of them, they noticed I had the same picture on the back I had used for the last four books and they wondered why I didn’t get a new picture. Of course, I explained it was the publisher who chose the picture, not me.
I have noticed something else recently. I find myself singing the song more and more often, “In the land where we will never grow old.” Of course, I always liked that song. But for some reason it pops into my head more often now. If you have any idea why that is happening you can let me know. It is a mystery to me. Something else that just gets on my nerves is when these old people get on Facebook and post the pictures of things like outhouses and hand pumps to get water from the well or even one recently of someone drawing water from a well and pretend that was something out of ancient history, it is aggravating to me.
It seems so odd that in my mind I still feel young, energetic and ready to face the challenges of life. But the question that I get over and over again from people who know me well to those who have just met me is, “Have you retired yet?” I even had some jerk to asked me the other day, “You mean you are still working.” What in the world is wrong with these 50 year old kids? I’m still trying to decide what I want to do next. Well, I think James was right when he said, “Life is a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” Praise God, this life, no matter how many years it last is just the beginning, the training ground for the life that never ends and where we truly, never grow old. I read a book a few years ago about heaven in which the author argued that in heaven everyone would be 26 years old. I have no idea where he came up with that. Maybe that was just the best year he could remember in his life. What I know is that in heaven we will be able to drink and swim in the river of life, eat from the fruit that grows on the tree of life and wipe the juice from the leaves of the tree that are for the healing of the people, on our skin. In that land there will never be a pandemic, we won’t even need to keep a doctors appointment, because we will never be sick or hurt. There will be no quarantines and the fellowship will be amazing. Never will there be gossip that hurts when it gets back to the person about whom it was said. No one will be trying to undercut another and love will truly flow like a river through the city.
Would you sing with me now? Let’s sing about that land where we will never grow old. You sound really good. I think my bass voice is ripping it out without a single crack. Wow! Amazing!