It’s my birthday! I know this is not the time and place for self-promotion. But I am glad to celebrate another year because it means I am alive and still going. But there are certain things that I cannot do because I’ve had too many of them.
My 40th birthday fell on a Sunday. As we were leaving church that day, we walked through our church’s gym. My oldest son made a remark about me being old. I took off my suit coat, handed it to him, and in my dress shoes jumped and grabbed the rim. I smiled and said, "When you can do that, you can call me old."
I haven’t grabbed the rim in a while. In fact, with the new knee that the doctor gave me last December, I don’t think I will ever touch a regulation basketball again without the aid of a ladder.
Don’t plan to try.
Our society is obsessed by youth. So many people my age are having surgeries, taking pills and having breakdowns, because they can’t do the things that they once could do. The desire to look young, to feel young, and to pretend to be young costs us millions of dollars as we refuse to "act our age."
Now, I’m not ready to sit in an easy chair with a blanket around my shoulders all day long. But I have concluded there are certain things that I cannot do. Not only can I no longer jump, but I’m not even comfortable with the idea of quickly changing directions on a basketball court. There was a time when I could do a crossover dribble, take the ball down the lane, and do a finger roll. That day has passed.
And that’s OK. Because there are things today that I do better than I once did. I can analyze situations and make better decisions. I can give better advice. I am better at praying and understanding what the Bible says than I once was. And I really don’t fear what others say about me like I once did. I have come to realize that I play for an audience of one, and that my sole task is to please the Lord.
The book of Proverbs speaks often of the wisdom that is gained with age. I hope that I am not insulting you when I say this, but it is likely, given that you are reading a newspaper, that you are a bit more on the mature side.
Are you still growing in wisdom? Are you sharing that wisdom with others? What a difference we could make if we, the faithful, share what we have learned with the next generation.
I pray that God will give us the faith and courage to do just that.