I watched my young son playing with my granddaughter recently and realized that being the oldest in my family is not much fun. I could see how attentive my daughter and son-in-law are to their daughter and I thought how wonderful to see them in the role of parents. But I often wonder if my young son thinks me too old to be a good Mommy. I feel old sometimes. Like when I go to get up from my chair after sitting too long and my knees don’t want to bend…or when I start having that same old hamstring muscle spasm and I can’t walk for a moment. I feel old and not hip at all. In fact my hip feels like it got-up-and-went without me! Well that might be a slight exaggeration, but I think you older readers will know what I’m talking about. I sometimes feel that ibuprofen and I are besties these days! Yes, I just don’t really feel young anymore.
I stopped dying my hair recently and realized that I have very few dark brown hairs left on my head. When I pass by a mirror I think I am seeing my Mom in the reflection. I remember years ago…before the dinosaurs left the earth for sure…..my Grandmother, who was in her late seventies, saying that she didn’t feel old but when she looked in the mirror she wondered who that old person was that was staring back at her and wondered how they got into her bathroom! I am beginning to identify with her on that! So where did all my time go? Where did all the years go? I mean it seems like just yesterday I was wishing I was old enough to drive a car and have a job and be my own boss!
As is my normal habit, when I am down or bored, I search the web until I can’t stand it anymore and then I reach for my Bible and begin to read. I have spent some time in the Scriptures and guess what I have found? Sixty isn’t old. Sixty in our society is over-the-hill but not in God’s Holy Word. In fact Sarah and Abraham were much older than sixty when their son Isaac was born and they lived to see him become a man. I can’t imagine being in my eighties or nineties or even one-hundred years old and having a child to rear. Wow! Come to think of it, though, I will be approaching seventy when my son graduates from high school! Oh boy!
Someone else was older than sixty when God tapped them to do the work of the Lord, and that was Moses. The Bible tells us the story of how Moses was minding his own business in the desert herding sheep and raising a family and was something near eighty years old when he saw a burning bush. Of course the bush was actually God beginning a special communication with Moses about going to Egypt and to set free the Israelite’s. Imagine how poor old Moses felt to have to walk so far in the hot sun to the Promised Land with some griping and ungrateful people and all their stinking animals as well. I don’t think I would want to do anything like that at my age of sixty! Still, Moses went and if God asked me to go and do some important work for the King of Kings, I would hope that I would go and do my very best as well.
Then there was Job, who was old when he lost all his children and possessions and most of his friends and certainly his health. I am sure he was past sixty although I don’t really know. He was the guy God allowed Satan to do anything to accept kill him, remember? At the end of the book of Job we are told that God restored all that Job had lost to include the same number of children…..and imagine how his wife felt bearing all of them in her old age! In fact we are told that God blessed Job with even more than Job had originally lost. I guess that means we are never too old to be the recipient of God’s blessings.
After pondering this for a moment I have decided that maybe sixty isn’t so old after all. I mean if God had all these examples recorded for me to learn from, then life is not over at sixty but just beginning! Still, being the oldest in my family is not always fun. I mean I am the head of my household because I am single. I make all decisions about where we live, what we drive, what we eat, what we wear, what we do and where we go. You know, come to think of it, I think that I have it made…..there is no one to argue with and no one to blame which does make life a whole lot easier!
I think I will take the examples from the Bible and run with them. I am not old at sixty; in fact my life has just begun. God has some terrific things for me to do before I leave this earth and I look forward to finding out what they are. I mean, who doesn’t want to see how peanut butter affects dentures? Maybe it’s time to think of what I have gained with age.
I have more wisdom than I did when I was younger and I apply it daily. I am not nearly as prone to speaking my mind first as if my opinion was the only one that mattered. (There’s a reason my Grandpa nick-named me “Chatty Kathy” when I was younger!) Now I listen and often learn from others before formulating an opinion. I am certainly more gracious than I used to be and I would hope that I am a lot smarter than I used to be. I try to be more generous to others and I try to be kind, which may not be any different from when I was younger. Only now I certainly have much more experience to draw upon to make a decision or give someone advice when someone asks. Actually I am healthier now than when I was in my forties so that is certainly a blessing to be appreciated. Yes, God has certainly been gracious to me as I age and I do want to remember to thank Him for His goodness towards me.
Age is really only an earthly concept when you really think about it. Eternity is forever but our life on this planet is limited by years and our thinking on the subject of age. Thank you, Lord, for helping me to put everything into a proper perspective. Okay, so I am sixty……well maybe, just maybe I am only half way to where I am going! I wonder if any of you will be around to celebrate my 120th birthday. If you are, just remember I want chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate ice cream…..unless of course the earth has run out of chocolate which might happen…in that case, make it a carrot cake!
Until next time…..Katherine