Going into Jones Drug Store meant being greeted by a joy filled character named Marge. Her raspy Okie accent never failed to rattle out a good hearted chuckle from even the sourest customers.
Like clockwork one day, a particularly stuffy gentleman came in, complaining of yet another malady. She countered him with “You’re as young as you feel,” and then stuck her arm over the counter, “You wanna feel?” From his expression, she was sure he suffered a stroke between the Lucky Tiger Hair Tonic and Jeane Nate’ cologne displays.
So, how old do you feel? Is it defined by a date on the calendar? Or is it the promised aches and pains that come with age? Is it the cute little neighbor boy that is now the father of a senior in high school? Or for folks, like me on the brink of the half-century mark, the greeting of the AARP card in the mail?
Last Thursday I arrived at the 50 year mark, that I was convinced a decade or two ago, would be impossible to hit. The Grim Reaper surely would target me, and if not him, at least Arthur Ritis.
But instead this season is the best kept secret around. I love this gig! I find myself saying “Why not?” a lot more to things I’ve shelved on life’s layaway plan for eons, and I’m cooler with being the individual God created me to be.
And why sweat the small stuff anymore? It’s not worth the effort and only breeds more problems. The dash of well wrestled wisdom is a great consolation prize.
Now there’s still a bushel basket full of molding and shaping that needs done. And I’m definitely learning what an intricate machine this body is, but in the end this life will onlybe a vapor. A poof. Why not smile and rest in the one who knows our days?
John the Beloved, that disciple who insisted he won the race against Peter to Jesus’s empty tomb, was actually the winner of another race. As his brother’s in the faith journey were quickly being picked off–one by one—in the most gruesome fashions, John had to have wondered when his hourglass would run out. Come on, Peter was the Rock, unshakable. If the anchor of the gang was expendable, then the title “Beloved’ wouldn’t mean when it came to surviving.
Instead, God snapped his fingers in front of John’s eyes, capturing his attention with a glorious plan to come. Always a disciple at heart, John adjusted his focus and probably wore out a Patmonian Thesaurus or two, trying to encapsulate the mind blowing vision God trusted only him with.
Old, grizzled John, who Christ’s foes shelved on the exile layaway plan. Oh my, what an unbelievable stroke of genius.
A specifically seasoned vessel to pass on a faith altering revelation.
So the next time I’m working in sophomore geography class and the topic lands on Mt. St. Helens, I can’t get blue because those kids weren’t even born when it blew—nor was the teacher!
I can proudly say I’m older than a world transforming volcano.
No matter what our age, do you suppose that’s why God keeps us around? To transform the world with the eruption with His love? We’re as young as He wants us to be. If we are willing to embrace His attitude.
Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Psalm 90:12,14
PS- For the record, AARP forgot me! Crack me up!
Photo credit: http://1271292044_a-happy-thebeautybrains.com
Special note to all of you who read the blogpost last week. After hitting Freshly Pressed, it brought in 1132 reads (and counting) in at least 13 countries. Talk about greatly humbled…and an extra special God-kiss since it all transpired on my 50th birthday.