I think I’m getting old — not older (Well, I’m getting that too) — but OLD. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining, just observing. Overall it’s not a bad thing, especially when one considers the alternative. However, there are certain signs that indicate the reality of old, as opposed to getting older. The following are about getting older.
1. It’s not getting to be 68 years old. When I was 20 that was old, right up there with Methuselah, but at 68 I am mentally still growing and learning like a kid, even if the body isn’t keeping up. I look at it this way: I have the mind of an Olympian athlete housed in the body of an overstuffed, well worn recliner.
2. Speaking of the body. I never used to take any medications. Now, I take 2 cups filled (shot glasses) twice a day — some meds, some supplements, but they are keeping me going.
3. I make sounds when I get up which I never used to do.
4. I must make at least one nightly visit to the god of porcelain (about 3:00am) which causes that athletic dynamo of a mind to kick in thinking, creating, figuring all kinds of stuff.
There’s more, so much more, but that should make my point about getting older. I can live with these things. In fact, in some cases, I live because of these things.
Becoming OLD means, to me, I can no longer accept, embrace or tolerate some of the NEW changes that invade my world, our world, THE world. Allow me to elaborate.
1. Lately, I’ve taken personal joy in curling up with a good book and reading for the pure pleasure of reading for fun. The feel of the book (its weight and bulk), turning the pages and placing a bookmark to show my progress and not lose my place. I have a kindle and it’s okay, but it’s not a book. I know, print is dead, but I like books — the real things — not a computer screen, tablet, audio equivalent or the kindle universe to store a library of material. I like books. I’m OLD.
2. I like my CD’s and DVD’s on a shelf in MY house, not in some invisible cloud. I even still use my LP’s (These are the original long play discs of music played on a phonograph player. If you need to know what a phonograph player is, check out Wikipedia, because you are not OLD and I am.). Yet, I’ve heard that CD’s and DVD’s are on their way out because our music and movies, like our books, will be waiting for us in the cloud. I suppose it’s a great idea until the day when, for whatever reason, they become inaccessible. I’ll take the hard copy versions taking up space on my shelves. That way I’ll know where to find them. I’m OLD.
When it comes to God’s Word in Scripture, I need to be aware of God’s desires and plans for me and the world He created. I have to preach and teach His message of salvation exclusively found in Christ Jesus and no where else. The reality of sin, my sin, must be acknowledged so that I can humble myself before the Lord with a repentant heart.
3. Today, even the church seeks to embrace the politically correct, technologically advanced attitude of today’s world. To do that is to turn my back on God so I can recreate Him in the world’s image. I won’t do that, so I guess I’m OLD.
Maybe what I am isn’t OLD, but old-fashioned in a positive sense. Old fashioned by being grounded in Christ centered morality and ethics of right and wrong; old fashioned in thinking more of the needs of others than only concerned with myself. Old fashioned in preferring something of substance to hold on to instead of some imaginary perfection to constantly pursue. Yeah, I can be content with myself if it’s old fashioned values that God would have me live.
Maybe the world should pause, take a moment to reflect on our core values and stop rushing head-long into chasing after the latest fad of self-satisfaction and “me” gratification. Newer isn’t always better.
But those are just my thoughts, for what they’re worth.
Pastor Lee R. Harder