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An Ode to Old Age

I remember the day I realized my youth had left me. I was sitting in my doctor’s office after having been tested for sleep apnea. My doctor walked in and said, “Well, it’s not the worst I’ve ever seen, but it’s right up there!” She then informed me that I stopped breathing ninety-three times an hour, my oxygen was dropping to 70%, my heart was probably being damaged, and if I didn’t take care of this issue very soon, I might not live to see fifty.

She then introduced me to my CPAP machine and mask. After she guided me in putting it on and what to expect, I asked her, “How long will I have to wear this? When will my apnea get better?” She looked surprised and said, “Well, Mr. Duncan, once someone starts using this, it’s usually for life!” FOR LIFE!  I was forty-six years old, and she was telling me I would be using a medical device for the rest of my life. I watched my youth fly out the window of her office.

Today, seventeen years later, if I thought ANY of my youth remained, I lost it when my dentist, after fitting me for my upper and lower partials, handed me my case in which to soak them at night. “Keep them by you bedside,” he said. Efferdent, here I come!

Ecclesiastes 12 bemoans the loss of youth, describing the “Golden Years” thusly:

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them. … In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened …

We tend to focus on the passage’s acknowledgement of the issues of old age, like having few teeth! Solomon’s message is really summed up in verse one, “Remember your creator in the days of your YOUTH ..!” This is a message of warning to youth! “The days are coming,” Solomon says, “when you won’t have the ability to serve the Lord like you can now!” Give God your youth, so it is not wasted! Any life not given over to the service of the Lord, is a life not meeting the potential He has given; not receiving the blessings He promises. It is a life not glorifying God. That life is one that isn’t really being lived.

 Not many youth will read this. If it were on Instagram they MIGHT, unless, that is, I am seen as unrelatable and out of touch. Which I probably am! That also occasionally comes with age! But the Truth of God’s Words is ageless, and that Truth is what our youth, children and yes, we older adults need to hear.

Many of us have been given the opportunity to raise our grandchildren. Raise them in the fear of the Lord. Show them what it means to remember their Creator while they are young. Wake them in the morning with prayer. Read with them the Word during the evening. Show them how to love others by sharing what God has blessed us with. Take them to God’s House for worship and worship in the home. None of us had hoped we would be raising our children’s children, but maybe it is God’s way of providing the life our grandchildren need to ensure they will know and love the Lord.

Some of us still have our own children to raise. Do the same for them! Do not let your job, however important it is, displace the time your children need with you! If you did not receive the greatest of upbringings, make sure your children do. Don’t just tell them, but SHOW them what it means that they are the creation of God! The creation Christ willingly died for! Show them what it means to gratefully live for Him!

Those old “evil” days, they are coming for all of us; if they haven’t arrived already! Give each day to the Lord, and there will never be a need to look back in regret!

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