18 Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty acts to all who are to come. Psalm 71:18 (NIV)
By Bro. John L. Cash
There’s an old adage that says, “There’s truth in anger, in wine, and in a child.” Well, I can’t vouch so much for the anger and wine part because we haven’t had too many drunken brawls lately. But, teaching teenagers every day, I frequently hear the truth in its unvarnished form as it’s spoken by the young.
This past week, one of my students was moping about a bit as I prodded the class to get started on their grammar lesson. Although she didn’t appear to be noticeably ill, I asked her if she had a headache. Being just a little bit dramatic, she sadly replied, “Mister, I think I’m dying.”
Never one to miss a teachable moment, I quickly picked up the thread. “Oh, my goodness. I hope you don’t die. I hope you live long enough to go to my funeral. And I hope my funeral is when I’m 105 years old. By that time I’ll have everything I want to do finished, and I’ll be ready to go.”
Her answer was something that we’ve often heard young people say. They really haven’t thought the matter through. She told me she didn’t want to live long enough to be an old person.
Again, I seized the moment to continue my argument. I said, “Why don’t you want to live to get old? After all, I’m old. I’ll be sixty next year. I’m still able to teach school every day. And I have a wonderful life. I’m having fun every day. What’s not to love about getting old?”
Her answer made me laugh out loud. “But, Dr. Cash…just LOOK at yourself!”
Now, I’ve got to admit, I don’t really think of myself as “old.” But I usually tell my students I’m old because that’s the way they think of me. And, as my student advised, I do quite frequently ponder my reflection in the mirror. I’m looking a little older every day.
But, honesty, I’ve kind of embraced the changes I’ve seen in the mirror. After all, we can’t live on the earth without getting older; I only hope I can be a person who grows old gracefully.
And I wasn’t kidding when I told my student that I have a wonderful life. Just look at what God has promised us in Isaiah 46:4: “Even when you are old, I will take care of you, even when you have gray hair, I will carry you. I made you and I will support you; I will carry you and rescue you.” How can you not feel encouraged when you realize He is with you every step of the way?
So, from our house to yours, have a wonderful week. Life is full of blessings when we lean on the Lord.
Just look at yourself… 🙂
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 34 ½ years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. He’s currently on a sabbatical from the preaching ministry, and is an English teacher at the Choctaw Tribal School. He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in a brick house in town (where the first 9 weeks of school are drawing to a close.) You can send him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.