Emory and I added the next larger number to our ages awhile back and I wasn’t exactly pleased. My Dad used to say “once a man, twice a child.” I often scoffed at his attempt at humor, but now I understand perfectly. Only God knows when we reach the peak of our age and start sliding backward toward that inevitable time. Each person is different. One thing I know, I have long reached that peak and have already passed through my second childhood, and am staring infanthood square in the face. You know: no teeth, baby food, pampers, tantrums etc.
When I mentioned this to my son Mark, when he called on my birthday, he suggested that I stop counting forward and start counting backward. He meant it as a joke, but it was a nugget dropped into my thoughts by the Holy Spirit, and I have been meditating on it for several days. What if I counted backward each year from now on, but instead of remembering the losses that come with aging, I focused on the blessings? What if I refused to dwell on the pain, but instead focused on all the lessons I learned last year, and the spiritual growth I made? I would certainly have no time to feel sad or discouraged. After all, my earthly years will eventually pass but my spirit will live on forever, and with it the rewards that have come as a result of my growth. And just think about how much more effective I can be to the Kingdom. Psalm 92:13 & 14 Tells us that those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing. (NKJV)
So, Dear Reader, if you find yourself staggering for no reason, forgetting your neighbor’s first name or where you laid your glasses, if you can’t see, taste, smell or hear like you used to do, and you’ve made an appointment with the dentist to have your teeth pulled, count backward. Count the prayers God has answered, the miracles He’s wrought, the blessings you have enjoyed, and you can face the years ahead with joy and peace. The apostle Paul expressed it best in 2 Corinthians 4:16 when he wrote: Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, the inner man is being renewed day by day.
(1st published Mar 17, 2011)