How old is “old?” These days I often say that I am “feeling old!” Both Kathleen and I seem to have recently burst into that new world of experiences peculiar to “old people!” Greatly diminished stamina, aches and pains moving around to new places. When the subject comes up, I am immediately exhorted by friends that I am only as old as I think I am (power of positive thinking). Or, I am only as old as I feel I am (power of denial). Yesterday I was told that I am only as old as my heart is (power of heredity).
Yes, I know I was born in 1932, but how old am I really? I’m confused between what I feel and what my friends tell me. So to escape from this distressing predicament I hopefully went to Psalms 90:10 which gave me a fright: “The days of our years are threescore years and ten (70 years); and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years (80 years), yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” So it appears I’ve been living on “borrowed time” for over eight years full of “labour and sorrow!”
How old is old? Well, Abraham died at 175 full of years. “Full” means abounding but it has the strong meaning of “satisfaction or satisfied” which crowned Abraham’s years. King David died at 70 and Solomon at about 60. All three of these are said to have died “full of years or days.”
Life for the Christian is not measured so much by years as it is by a quality or fullness of years. Paul insisted that to live (at any age) is Christ in all His richness and fullness. He had learned to be satisfied and content at whatever age, in whatever situation and in whatever feeling (pain, distress, etc).
Yes, we’re getting old; we’re living on borrowed time full of labour and sorrow, but we’re also full of satisfaction and contentment ever thanking God for His innumerable mercies toward us!
I have to confess that for most of my 78 years I haven’t longed for heaven as I should. I’ve been immersed in what I believed God wanted me to do. Heaven was a glorious prospect to which I joyfully subscribed, but to actually go, not now! Perhaps that isn’t all wrong because God did give us this desire to live and achieve. But as the physical abilities begin to wane and ebb away, that longing for the perfection of our heavenly hope and the glory of Christ’s presence begins to blossom and fill the days of our years. The “borrowed time” full of labour and sorrow prepares us for that heavenly home.
How old am I? I pray God might say that I am “full of days,” immersed in satisfaction with what God has graciously chosen for me until He chooses to take me out of this earthly portion of my journey.