Every time I celebrate another birthday I’m happy to say that most days I honestly feel 20 years younger - this year I’m saying I feel like I’m 54 with 20 years of experience! It’s been said that no wise man would ever wish to be younger. However, what I know to be true is that inside every old guy is a much younger guy wondering what in the world happened!
I’m always delighted to be blessed and teased, in fact, my close friends know that the two are just about the same thing for me. Everyone I know who is older than me, and that list is growing shorter every year, appreciates both being taken seriously as well as being honored with the good humor demanded by our common humanity. Some call it vitally aging, which involves being active, alert and enjoying life by daily determining to live until you die.
Comedian George Burns died at the age of 99. Shortly before his death he wrote: “There’s an old saying, ‘Life begins at 40.’ That’s silly - life begins every morning when you wake up. Open your mind to it; don’t just sit there - do things … the possibilities are endless. The point is, with a good positive attitude (and a little bit of luck) there’s no reason why you can’t live to be 100. And once you’ve done that you’ve really got it made because very few people die over 100!”
You may not make it to the century mark. In the prayer of Moses recorded in Psalm 90:10, he says, “The length of our days is seventy years - or eighty if we have the strength.” I like to say that I am now approaching my extra strength years, that is I’m fulfilled but not yet finished, and I’m not alone. Another leader of about my age thought he might have another 25 years left to live, and observed that 25 years is an awesome responsibility! I may not have that long, but even if it’s just a decade or so of sufficient energy, I want to make the most of it. I have someone special to love, something signifiant to do and something wonderful to look forward to! We should never underestimate the importance of whatever time we have left.
No matter how old you are chronologically, may you live until you die, and may God grace you with everything you need:
- Enough tears to keep you tender …
- Enough success to keep you encouraged …
- Enough failure to keep you humble …
- Enough faith to keep you believing that the best is yet to be!
“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age; they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, ‘The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.’” Psalm 92:12-15
By God’s grace I’m still “flourishing on” at 74 but I’ve still got plenty of room for improvement!