I was chatting to a younger colleague in our new favourite place, an uptairs cafe that makes me a soy latte just the way I like it and plays nice, easy jazz. He was complaining that now that he is thirty he can’t do the things he used to take for granted and he wondered what it was like for an old geezer like me. He was much kinder than that, but that’s the gist of it.
I told him that there are lot of things that I can’t do anymore, but it doesn’t pay to dwell on them. Instead just do the things you can do. Happiness does not consist in not having things that you would like to have, but in liking the things you do have. In other words, being satisfied with what you’ve got.
I am a very fortunate man, and I have a lot. Most of it has taken a great deal of hard work not just to get, but to keep. Some of it – like my salvation – has been totally undeserved grace on the part of Christ Jesus the Lord God of All. I did nothing but accept His offer. Along the way I have taken my share of abuse, from both enemies and friends, and had my share of disappointments and heartaches. I have done some things right, and I have made some mistakes. Nobody gets out of this life unscathed.
But as I enter into my old age – and sixty, while it may not be old, is the beginning of that phase – I’ve got to say that I am pretty comfortable with who I am and where I am in life. It not so much that I have done this or that, but that I have, in all that I have done, sought to live up to, at first, my own standards of what was decent, fair and honourable, and later in life, please God, who is the ultimate authority on those things.
I will not leave this life with many toys. So if that is your measure, then I obviously lose. But I am not going to bring those things with me anyway. All that I get to take is my character. I figure if I live long enough for Christ to have His way with me, then that will be worth taking.