ALL RIGHT, ALL YOU YOUNG WHIPPERSNAPPERS....
Make that OLD. Like ME.
I don't mind referring to myself as old. Hey, if I can't be old at 74, when can I be?
My Dad always had an aversion to that word ... old ... and I sort of made up my mind that I wasn't going to object to it. In fact, the Bible speaks highly of old age, and even says we're to honor the white-haired among us. It even equates age with wisdom, so I find absolutely no reason to object to references to age, old, etc.
When you're young, your life is much more controlled by hormones. Speaking on behalf of men, I know we're driven to do a lot of the things we do .. win arguments, make sales, beat opponents, see our football teams win, etc. That's what causes the joked-about scene where, on a vacation, the wife wants to stop and smell the roses (as it were), while hubby wants to stay behind the wheel and kill some more miles.
Well, when men go through that midlife thing, when hormones lose their grip on the male psyche, and men realize what it is that was going on, men gain the ability to do the right thing simply because it's the right thing, and not because of any inner need to be right, win the argument, make the sale, beat the opponent, or anything of that sort.
In most cases, with age comes experience. If guys are alert, and collect their memories, then their experiences, both wins and losses, become tremendously helpful. But in our human limitations, we also become tired of many of the things we do. Then, when the limitations of age catch up with us, many of the things that occupied our time fade into insignificance, as we gain age, maturity, and perspective.
From the viewpoint of 53 years' experience at being over 21, let me offer a couple of observations. First, I have traveled much more than I would ever have believed, had you told me, all 53 years ago. There's a Facebook program that will keep a total of the cities and countries you've been in, and I think it shows something like 1,200 cities, 45 states, and 23 countries.
Peg and I have had some indescribably beautiful vacations. From Germany to London to Hong Kong, to several places in the Caribbean, to Alaska .. we've visited enough wonderful places that vacations pose a particular problem for us now.
There's no place we want to go badly enough to climb on an airplane to get there.
THEN ... add to that the other stuff that comes with age. Arthritis and its joint pain, fairly frequent sleeplessness, enough doctor's appointments to keep us close to home, and our lives settle into a boring-sounding regularity. Thank God He has given us a home we enjoy very much. But, of course, being human, we're used to it. Enough so that it usually takes someone else pointing out how nice it is, to wake us up to reality once again.
There is, however, one thing that never, ever has .. and I'm convinced never will .. lose that "first time in Disney World" sort of thrill. It's the Spiritual side of what we do.
When I look back over a week of "same old same old", the things that leap out of my memory are praying for our servers when we eat out ... leading last night's study session on the Baptist Faith & Message ... last Wednesday studying Matthew's Gospel in our small group ... worship at FBC yesterday, when Stephan Reach visited with us (he's CB & Karen Scott's younger foster son, who enjoyed the service and is coming back) ... and most especially having the folks last night at the BF&M study .. which we've completed, say they'd like to continue meeting on Sunday nights.
I think it has something to do with abundance of life. You know, Jesus stated there were a couple reasons He put on the human suit and came to earth. One was to seek & save that which was lost. the other was that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. Strong's Online says "abundantly" means:
1) exceeding some number or measure or rank or need
a) over and above, more than is necessary, superadded
1) exceeding abundantly, supremely
2) something further, more, much more than all, more plainly
b) superior, extraordinary, surpassing, uncommon
1) pre-eminence, superiority, advantage, more eminent, more remarkable, more excellentHaving done all the stuff we've done, and been all the places we've been, and had all the stuff we've had, I can tell you those things, while nice, and certainly a blessing, aren't what make life abundant. As the "money line" from the film "A Family Thing" said, "Happiness ain't nuthin' more than havin' somethin' to look forward to". I can attest to that being true, and it's not a new house, car, trip, or anything else of the sort.
Folks, back to my first statement. Some day, you're going to be old, too. If you're really, really blessed, you're going to find that the Spiritual part of your life is the part that thrills you most, too. If you do what you can to make that the case now, when you're young, just think how far ahead of the game you'll be.
If it can happen to ME, it can happen to ANYBODY.