Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
- John 21:17b-19
Of course, Jesus was telling Peter that he would die by crucifixion, but the idea of younger and older is mentioned.
We recently had a new senior pastor come to our church. He is about the age of our younger son. It made me think about a conversation that I had with a doctor about 10-12 years ago.
This female doctor saw that my wife and I were not very comfortable around her. She asked who had been the last doctor in the Pittsburgh area who we had been comfortable with.
My wife’s eyes lit up. When we first moved to our little mining town in SW Pennsylvania, there was an old Chinese doctor from Taiwan who was accepting patients. I think he recognized the Chinese ancestry in my wife, less than 1/8 Chinese. She had many of the ailments that his own daughter had. She suddenly became family. He was good to me, but if my wife became ill, he would squeeze her between patients, no bothering with appointments. With me it was at the end of the day after he had seen the other patients. He would also talk to my wife as a loving father would to his child. “Come to me as soon as you get sick. Do not self-medicate with over-the-counter medicines. I know what is right for you.” My wife had always made sure she was very sick before she went to the doctor, using every home remedy in the book first, but not with him. When he was diagnosed with kidney cancer, for most folks, he just asked them to find a new doctor and he would make arrangements if necessary to find one. With us, he felt the need to say good-bye. He hugged my wife and they both shed tears.
My wife told just a bit of that to the doctor, and then the doctor said, “At some point in everyone’s life, you will see that as you get older, your doctor gets younger.”
Being like a father was only a part of why we were comfortable with the old doctor, but as we have gone on to other specialists and the next primary care doctor, they keep getting younger. And our present doctor is about the same age as our pastor, yet he seems to have the same level of care as our old Chinese doctor and friend who passed away soon after closing the doctor office. Our new young doctor is also friendly.
So, in saying hello to our new pastor, I was brought down memory lane, thinking of doctors. So, as we listen to a much younger person leading us in worship, it does not bother us that he has hardly begun to live his life. He does not have the experience of our recently retired pastor, but he loves Jesus, and his first sermon was direct and to the point, a good foundational point. And while others may be wary about his age, I figure it this way, “At some point in everyone’s life, you will see that as you get older, your pastor gets younger.”
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.