How many of you read the “obits” in the paper? I remember an old ditty that goes something like: “I wake up each morning and dust off my wits, pick up the paper and read the obits. If my name isn’t there I know I know I’m not dead, so I eat a good breakfast and go back to bed.” When I look at the obits, I especially enjoy the nostalgic photos of loved ones like the young man grinning from a WW 2 uniform, or the beautiful, vibrant young lady outfitted in 1930’s dress with a script that reads something like “89 years young, grew up on a farm in Illinois during the Depression.”
It seems that all too often those who have had long lives feel sidelined as they reach their latter years. But in the obits we see verses, messages and readings reminding us that the older we are, the more meaningful and enjoyable our lives. More over, they often allude to communities in which these men and women were “planted,” so that in the rich soil of fellowship with others they continued to “bear fruit” and be “fresh and flourishing.”
After a week of working on my daughter’s latest project list at their home in Connecticut, I recognize that muscles ache, joints hurt and my pace sure has slowed down. And I am thankful that I am still able to be “renewed day by day” even though the renewal process takes longer and is significantly assisted by the Jacuzzi tub we installed a while back on our small farm.
As I continue being a semi-retired part time employee my wife has threatened to have a T shirt made for me that reads “I’m not 67, I’m 17 with 50 years of experience.” No matter how old we get, we can still be young at heart, with the added benefits of our many years of knowledge, wisdom, service and personal devotion.