God’s Word for Today: Old. How do we exactly define this word? What determines the definition of old? When it comes to age, we can count years. But at what year does one go from simply getting older to actually being old? Where is the line one crosses over to become old? When you are 10, 50 seems old. Then at 20, 60 might be old. At 30, 70 and at 40, 80. Is it just a matter of a 40-year spread? Then, when does one reach the definition of, really old? Is our goal in life to grow old, or to become really old?
By now, that first paragraph in itself was probably getting old. Now, we take today’s word and put it into the context of not only old, but wore out. Do these two descriptions have to go together? Why can’t something be old, but not wore out? Or, is the level of old never truly reached until it has realized being, wore out?
I am starting to see and feel the hints of being old. Gray hair, and signs of many years of gravity working against one’s body, are just 2 of the subtle reminders that the years have accumulated. I would like to think my mind is still young. I still have the desire to do many things I did in my youth. But, this word old, has started to remind a me that youth has its strength and speed, and old has is wisdom and experience.
The word old, in Portuguese is “velho”. It is pronounced “value”. How appropriate. The older you get, the more of value you become. I know in translation; this paragraph is probably going to be confusing. And for that, I apologize. But the idea that, increasing age, causes increasing value, is good stuff. Even when your time has come to leave this world, your value lives on in those you left behind.
Last night, we attended a church service with a family who recently lost their father, grandfather, great grandfather, uncle, great uncle, and so forth. Personally, I did not know the man. I wish I had. His family is a special group. They take on life every day and grasp the simple and good things that we have all been blessed with. This outlook can only have been taught and passed on by a man who had the vision and wisdom of the joys of life himself. They described him as a warrior (guerreiro). I hope I can reach that level too.
The church service was of a respectable size, but still quaint. This man had reached the level of old, that many of his friends and other family members had already passed before him. The numbers had whittled away. All that was remaining was his strength and wisdom that he had passed on to his family. A strength that was exemplified by how the family carried themselves into the church and back out again. Old, I suppose he fit that definition. Warrior, yes most definitely.
Isaiah 46:4. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
God doesn’t count years. Just like God doesn’t count indiscretions. God sees you exactly how you are today. For some reason, God was never given a slide rule, a balance sheet, an adding machine, or a calculator. God works just as hard for you today as He did yesterday. No matter your record. No matter your number of years.
The beauty of this old thing is the wisdom and peace that starts to develop. You get to see the success, accomplishments, failures, and general living of life, from your children and their children. If it is God’s plan, you may be blessed with the great grandchildren and maybe even great, great grandchildren. You suddenly start to realize what the true priorities in life are. You take more time to acknowledge your creator. You take more time to look at and smell the flowers. You get to see little hints and parts of yourself growing throughout your family. Good stuff right there.
Today, I believe we can take this word old and add some pretty special words to describe it. Words that your Dad and Granddad shared with you in some way. Wisdom, courage, peace, understanding, thoughtfulness, integrity, grit, and fortitude. But most important, in the special way only a Father or Grandfather can express, love…………………….
Prayer: Dear Lord, my Father of all time. Thank you for the men who have walked before me and helped to mold who I am today. Forgive me for the times I failed to follow their instructions. Lord, forgive me for the times I fail to follow your guidance too. Today, I miss my Granddads. Today, I ache for my Dad. Today, I need your strength. And Lord, give me the wisdom to be known as a warrior too. Help me to be of value to my loved ones and most important, of value to you. In Jesus’, the perfect Son you sent for our imperfections, name I pray. Amen.