“When we did that I knew we were old.”
My son in law told me of standing over the newly purchased washer mesmerized, watching through the acrylic lid as the clothes agitated. They paused, laughed, and knew they weren’t 25 year olds anymore.
I love to ask people when they first realized they were aging. Top of the list is usually, “When a young person called me ma’am or sir.” That is a startling rite (or wrong) of passage. Or, how about being given the senior discount without asking!
Last week my daughter and son in law hosted a dinner at my house. I proudly presented a stack of Christmas CDs after digging through many boxes. She graciously ignored my efforts as she quietly said, “Alexa, play Christmas music!” YIKES!
At church last night an energetic young staffer conversed with two of the deacons. “I retired in 2001.” Quickly, the youth worker responded, “I graduated from high school in 2001.” “Wow! That makes me feel old was the deacon’s response.”
Those are outward evidences we have turned more calendar pages than most, but “feeling old” is not the same as chronological age. “How old do you feel?” is a question I enjoy asking my 65+ friends. Rarely do I hear someone response “I feel every day of my 70 years.” Or, “I feel ten years older than my age.” Quite the contrary. Most of us put a pin at a point 5 to 10 years younger than the sundial reads.
Dad used to say, “I cannot stop getting older, but I can certainly refuse to get old.”
We can be told by the culture we aren’t riding in the fast lane, but we aren’t being flagged off the course quite yet.
Psalm 71 records David’s request for years enough to tell the next generation about the strength, mighty acts, and greatness of God. He didn’t ask for years of idleness, or total leisure. He sought time to speak to the next generation. We aren’t finished – we are still in the race with a clear purpose.
Okay, when I am told “nobody carries sacred sheet music anymore,” I can smile remembering the delightful hours of exploring music stores, but recognizing “time marches on.” When a kind person offers an arm when walking up a hill, I can accept the help knowing there is an agile young woman inside who is enjoying the assistance.
Aging is a privilege. At age 85 Caleb asked God for years to conquer a mountain in the Promised Land. Let’s carefully consider our requests. What is your mountain? What is your testimony to the next generation? The world may look askance at us, but little do they know what lies behind that gray hair!