“From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I (Psalm 61:2).”
Hoagy Carmichael wrote the following lyrics:
“Old rockin’ chair’s got me, my cane by my side
Fetch me that gin, son, ‘fore I tan your hide
Can’t get from this cabin, goin’ nowhere
Just set me here grabbin’ at the flies round this rockin’ chair
My dear old aunt Harriet, in Heaven she be
Send me sweet chariot, for the end of the trouble I see
Old rockin’ chair gets it, Judgment Day is here
Chained to my rockin’ chair”
I am sure there are plenty of us who feel that way as we get older. We feel like life has passed us by, or that we’ve wasted our best years. We just want to sit in the rocking chair, drink our mint juleps and pass on.
On the other hand, some of the mature set have decided to make hay while the sun shines. With longer life spans these days, Grandma and Grandpa can be be found on the ski slopes now. These folks are the ones with the bumper stickers that read,”I’m spending my children’s inheritance.”
These latter seniors would follow Mark Twain’s adage,”Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. ”
They still have strength and vigor, but are using it to fulfill their pleasures. For them, a quote from former baseball player Chili Davis is applicable. He said,”Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.”
For the believer, Chili Davis’s statement has truth, also. Even as we reach middle age, some of us continue to act like kids. Jim Fiebig said, “Age does not diminish the extreme disappointment of having a scoop of ice cream fall from the cone”. For some middle agers and beyond, this is rings true, also.
Some of us in middle age wake up just in time, however. We learn from our mistakes. For some reason, up until now we just haven’t gotten what godly men and women were trying to tell us (Proverbs 5:12,13).
We had all the advantages, too. We had godly parents. We had faithful mentors . We made tons of promises to God, but kept nary a one (Psalm 61:5).
Now, we’re tryin to turn it around as we enter the last stage of life. We realize that we may be getting old, but we realize we ain’t dead yet.
We are asking God not to remember the sins of our youth, but instead show His love to us as this time (Psalm 25:7). In his suffering, Job felt God was making him pay for his youthful indiscretions (Job 13:26). Suffering will make you feel that way, but it will also produce godliness in the end.
We are finally gettin it, but the standard is still too great for us. We want to make a difference for God in our families, with our fellow believer, and with the lost before the lights go out. But we now know that if we’re going to reach the heights, it is God who will have to enable us (II Samuel 22:34).
Perhaps this is the greatest lesson we sinful saints have learned over the years. God has to do it.
This gives hope instead of anguish for the rest of the journey. It’s in His hands as we finally make ourselves available for His use. Thankfully, there is still time.
“A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.” ~John Barrymore