Getting Old without a Manual

Altogether, Methuselah lived a total of 969 years, and then he died.

– Genesis 5:27

I guess I am getting old in that I published this post for “immediately” when I really wanted it posted much later, as in about two weeks. Yep, I am getting old. Hmmmmm.  Nine hundred more years of all these aches and pains, or even more pains than what I already have?!?!  I do not think so.

Then again, maybe folks aged differently in those days.  After all, Noah built the ark, and they went inside it when Noah was 600 years old.  I doubt if I could have lifted even one of those timbers at 60.  And I have seen video of the Ark Encounter being built, and I do not think Noah had cranes to lift the beams into place.  Sure, he had three strong sons.  I wonder if Noah called to them the way my Dad announced that the next job was going to be hard and heavy.  My Dad would say, “I am looking for someone who has a strong back and a weak mind.”  I guess I had a weak mind because I did not run away quick enough.

Maybe the weak mind and the back breaking work led to some of the pains that I experience these days.

Many say that life is the “b” word, then you get to the “d” word.

I have a note for the person who came up with that little ditty.  You forgot “C”!!!!!

Sure, I may have my little aches and pains.  I just drove over 3,000 miles in two and a half weeks.  I needed extra eye drops for the dry eye problem.  I needed to drive holding the wheel with only my right hand when the left wrist began to spasm.  Otherwise, I might change lanes unexpectedly.  After each long-distance drive, it took a few days to get the digestive system back going properly again.  If you are old enough, you know what I mean.

I am not complaining.  I am explaining…  Explaining that these kinds of things sneak up on you.  My wrist was doing just fine, and then I woke up one day, and I thought I broke it in my sleep.  How that could happen was a mystery.  The dry eye is sneakier than that.  The slow change and the loss of pain sensation combine to have a sudden problem that took months of slow deterioration.  Wait.  I forgot my drops this afternoon.  … … …  There was more than one ellipsis.  I had to stop typing.  Find the bottle.  And then I cannot see clearly for a minute or two afterwards.  Not complaining, just explaining.

I think Mary Maxwell explains it quite well in her prayer to bless the food at a function for a senior care facility known as Home Instead.

I love this prayer for two reasons, maybe more.  1) I love her humor.  2) I can relate to what she was saying.  3) I often pray at the beginning of Sunday school, or the end, and I have one of my overwhelming desires to be casual in my prayer, out loud, and members of the class have laughed.  We should be reverent, but we should be real.

Note:  I thought there were more than two reasons, but sometimes I have no idea where I am going when I start writing these things.  I am tired from all the driving, and I did not want to go back and change the number.

Also Note: When I first wrote this, I published it and left the time for “Immediately” instead of choosing the scheduled time. Two people read it before I could get it changed. This is not the first time I have done that, so I guess I am getting old too.

Sometimes my prayers seem to mention some strange things that others find funny, but I am just saying the obvious things that others fail to mention.  Like thanking God for the cloudy morning because driving to church at that time of day and at that time of year leads to the sun shining right in our faces.  Some people may think that is an inappropriate prayer, but hey!!!  It’s a problem, and Sunday school cannot start until I get there!!!  Oh, I suppose someone else could start the class without me, but…

And with the problem of the sun in your face in mind, if you are ever driving with the sun at your back, do not think it odd to see two old people coming from the opposite direction, holding up their hands and pointing, with all fingers, in opposite directions to you.  They are not giving hand signals; they are shading their eyes.  I hereby apologize to the gentleman who ran into the ditch a few weeks back when my wife and I both had the same hand pointing to the left, his right, and he thought we were signaling him where to turn.  I hope the repair bill wasn’t too bad.

And what did the person miss when he went from the “b” word to the “d” word?  He missed the Christ, Christ Jesus, Son of the living God, who makes promises about taking care of us.  And He keeps His promises.  So, life can be a “b” word, but it does not have to always resemble a female dog.  It is even beautiful at times.  It can be bountiful in an array of good things.  And not every blustery day or brisk day or balmy day is a bad day.

And as for that “d” word.  I have often ended the expression, “but then we get to die.”  Because we are then with Jesus, forever.  I have heard other people say a different expression.  “Sure, I am old, but it beats the alternative.”  Are you sure about that?  More pain versus no more pain, none at all?

Why did this come up?  I had this video of a funny prayer pop up, and I thought, “Why not satiate my curiosity?”  I watched it thinking that it might be inappropriate, and I found it compelling.  So compelling that I needed to add my thoughts.  After all, I had to add an extra candle to the cake last month.  And no, that was figurative.  The cake in the photo was for our nine-year-old granddaughter – a once in a lifetime cake – in that we do not have any money left in that particular bank account, with a hand-crafted dragon in fondant guarding the cake, edible glitter on the strawberries, etc.  The idea of the cake, designed by the nine-year-old, is that the dragon used its fire breath to turn the icing on top into a pool of caramel that is dripping off the sides over the butter-cream icing.  But if it were my cake, there would not be enough room on top for the candles, and in most states, we would need a permit to light the candles, with a call to the fire department to stand by – just in case.

But God is teaching me patience, and oh how I need to learn that lesson.  Otherwise, He might just take me Home.

Hmmm.  Getting old without having any practice at being old, and without an owner’s manual?!?!  Now that is what they call “Living on the Edge.”

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.


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  1. You crack me up— chalk it up to misery loving company!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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