(Can we share our story with you?)
Age is a funny thing. The older we get, the older ‘old’ is. When I was in my teens I honestly didn’t believe I was ever going to get old; Old people (and that was anyone over 25) were a completely different species, for me to become old would have been like waking up one morning and finding that I was now a panda bear.
Since then, each time I have reached a new decade I have been pleasantly surprised at just how ‘young’ ‘old’ has turned out to be.
Fifty was a bit harder though. Reality hits in the bathroom mirror… every morning. You know it used to irritate me when walking past building sites guaranteed cat calls and wolf whistles, but it didn’t bother me half as much as the deafening silence as I walk past one now.
And you know what else? I look back at all those long busy, drawn out years and I catch myself thinking…
That was quick.
But on a more serious note, it is at about this time of our lives that so many of us reach a point when we become suspicious that life has no more to offer. Our children are growing up and starting to leave home, our career decisions were made long ago and, for good or bad, we have to live with whatever those choices were. At best we are starting to deal with the issues of ageing parents, at worst we are dealing with our own deteriorating health. It is a time when it becomes tempting to see ourselves as heading for the scrap heap, we are having to deal with our own mortality… it’s scary.
At this point in my life The Lord started to make something clear to me. First of all he started to help me see my grey hairs and crows feet in a different way… I began to see them as kind of marks of honour rather than marks of contempt. He said to me ‘You’re not getting useless, you’re not getting valueless, you’re just getting closer to me’.
And then, he did something else. He said ‘I’ve got something new for you to do.’
He has waited until I sincerely believed that opportunities had all ended or passed me by and he said ‘Now is the time.’
Just when I thought it was all downhill he said ‘It’s going to be exciting… A bit scary… You’ve got a lot to learn …’. And he said one more thing, he said ‘I WILL BLESS YOU.’
How cool is that? If you’re still breathing, you’re still needed.
That affirmation of how much we are valued is available to us all.
That is how much we are loved.
Then he told us to take our songs, go into churches, tell our stories and to deliver a message.
And tell his people this…
If you’re still breathing… Then you’re not done yet.