I am beginning to enjoy things I can no longer do.
In typical American fashion, my life has been fairly active physically. I have enjoyed hiking and jogging and softball and basketball. I have coached my kids in soccer and baseball and helped them in just about anything they were inclined to try.
The years have taken away my ability to participate in many of these activities. Reflexes and stamina and a metal hip and other circumstances combine to make many such things impossible. Twenty baseballs are in a box in the garage, formerly used to pitch to my son and his teams. I no longer own shoes dedicated to soccer. The practice equipment and coaching manuals have been passed on to more youthful bodies.
One would expect to be nostalgic about such a decline. I am entering the retirement portion of life. The days behind are far more than the days ahead. For many people a sense of desperation sets in. They become bitter or try to recapture a measure of youth or go into denial with a face lift here and creative combing there. For others the choice is resignation. “Give me the TV remote, a daily meal out for my expanding waistline and some leisure to run about the country, and I will go quietly.”
Perhaps the truth of Psalm 90 is at work here. “Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days” (v. 14). If our Lord is truly satisfying, should not this be our experience throughout life? Satisfaction in youth helps choose wisely career and spouse and child rearing and lifestyle. Satisfaction in middle age helps confront change and difficulty in those same aspects of daily living, a firewall against the traps and temptations of this world. Looking back realistically at all that satisfaction sets the table for the last third.
I have had numerous examples to follow. My parents continued to bike and work out regularly and attend church and Bible studies with much younger folk. They pursued personal interests like quilting and chess into their eighties and nineties. First Baptist of Luverne has a wonderful group of senior saints who have not begun to put down their Bibles and paint brushes and smiles and prayers and checkbooks and willing wisdom. So the road is marked clearly.
Satisfaction is good. It seeps down deep into every corner of one’s heart and mind. Satisfaction looks back with few regrets because nothing is regrettable about God. He forgives. He cleanses. He guides. He uses. He fills … marvelously. If you are older than I, thanks. I really, really appreciate your example. If you are my generation, measure well your soul. You don’t have much time left to make changes. If you are young, listen to a soon-to-be-old geezer. Drink deeply of our Lord. The best will be empty without Him. The worst will be satisfying with Him.