Getting old seems to be a long and slow process. The longer it goes the older you get.
I didn’t really think I was getting old until a few weeks ago I was visiting with some friends from high school. You know those old high school friends that you had fun with when you were young enough to have fun? And oh boy, what fun we had.
A sharp difference exists between being young and being old. You have to get old to really understand the difference because when you are young you do not have enough time to think. That’s the problem with young people today. So many things to do and so much technology they do not have any time left over to think.
Those young whippersnappers.
There is a huge difference between being young and being old.
When you are young, you enjoy having lots of fun.
When you are old, you enjoy remembering all the fun you had when you were young.
The best thing about being old and remembering those good old days is that you can exaggerate about how good they really were. Even when you are exaggerating with friends that shared the same fun, they go along with you.
Whether it is the absence of memory or just wanting to enjoy fun to its fullest extent, I do not really know.
As my friends and I were talking about the good old days, I happened to notice wrinkles on their faces. I did not say anything at the time, but they sure looked old to me. Also, I did not quite remember how grey their hair was when we were young.
When I was young and having all that fun, I never gave a thought about how young I was or that I was getting older. My whole focus was on the fun element of life and I thought that would carry me through the rest of my life.
I remember my 20th birthday very well. I was celebrating getting out of those teenage years and becoming an adult. For some reason I thought you became an adult at 20. Little did I know that it takes many years to become an adult and some do not really make it. I simply assume that the older you get, the more fun you can have. Boy, was I ever surprised!
Celebrating the good old days is quite remarkable. Because in it all, I noticed my friends were getting older. One of my friends repeated a story three times and not to embarrass him, I laughed all three times.
After the meeting and driving home, I began to think about myself. Am I as old as they look?
I was afraid to look in the mirror when I got home because I did not know who would be staring back at me. Whoever invented mirrors ought to be shot and then sent to the moon. A mirror never tells you the correct story and never tells you how old you really are. It just makes a funny face at you.
My friends may be getting old, but I have put my foot down and I have refused to get old.
One friend was using a cane and I did not have the heart to ask him why he was using a cane. He hobbled around and I am not sure if he hurt himself or if he was just getting too old to walk on his own.
I must admit there are some days that I feel old, whatever that means. Some days I am a little slower than I was the day before. Overall, I am not as old as some of my friends look.
There is an old saying that says you are only as old as you feel, and I’m not sure what old feels like. I would like to ask my wife, but you know the trouble I would be in then!
I did enjoy my visit with those friends, but it did start me thinking about things I have never thought about before. Someone said that the 70 is the new 20. I will keep that in mind when I hit that magical mark called 70.
When I got home, I shared some of my thoughts with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage who just listen very patiently. I went on and on about how old my friends looked.
When I settled back in my chair and sipped some coffee, she looked at me and said something that rather startled me. “I wonder,” she said rather thoughtfully, “if your friends are saying the same thing about you!”
That was a thought stopper for sure. What if they were? What if I looked old to them?
Is it really that bad to get old? I thought about that for a moment and then realized if you stop getting older, you’re dead.
“I have been young,” David said rather thoughtfully, “and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread” (Psalm 37:25).
The one I like is, “They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing” (Psalm 92:14). This one fits me to a T.
Not only are my friends getting old, but I’m getting old and my goal is to get as old as I possibly can.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores.