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Dr. James L. Snyder Ministries
PO Box 830851 - Ocala, FL 34483
Out to Pastor > How Old is Too Old

22 Oct 2022

I have never thought too much about my age. After all, you cannot choose when you will be born. Age is just a matter of thinking, and thinking is not my strong suit.

I never really thought about being old. I’m not exactly sure what the real definition of old is.

The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage recently asked me, “How old do you think you are?” I’m not quite sure what the incident was about.

I never know if what she is asking is rhetorical or something actually true. To question your wife is a borderline disaster.

On my last birthday, we went out to a restaurant to celebrate. As I was finishing my dessert, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage looked at me with one of her mischievous smiles and said, “Well, how old do you feel?”

Without thinking, which is my MO, I reached across the table, took hold of her arm, squeezed it, and said, “I feel old now?”

Unfortunately, she did not think it was funny, even though I was laughing.

Getting old is a natural process. You go from one birthday to the next birthday to the next birthday. I’ve had so many birthdays that I can’t remember most of them. My question along this line is, if I can’t remember how old I am, can I make up my age at my convenience?

Believe it or not, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage responded to that. I’m not allowed to share her response, for obvious reasons.

Most people think that getting old is a very negative thing. I used to think that to a certain degree. But I am beginning to discover some good advantages to getting old.

I was at a certain restaurant, and when I went up front to pay the bill, I, with a big smile on my face, asked if I could get a discount. I was just joking.

To my surprise, the person behind the counter looked at me and said, “How old are you?”

I had to think for a moment, and then I told her how old I was. When I said that, she replied, “Well, if you are that old, you qualify for a senior citizen discount.”

Up to that point, I had never heard of a senior citizen discount, but I was glad to hear about it and cheerfully accepted that discount. I heartily respond to any discount for me. Any discount is change in my pocket.

Coming home the other day, The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage met me and asked if I remembered to pick up something at the store for her. Looking at her, I simply said, “Oh, my. I guess I’m getting so old I couldn’t remember.”

She replied with something I shall never forget, “That’s okay.” I only wished I had my tape recorder running when she said that.

That brought me to another benefit of getting old. All I have to say is that I’m so old I forgot and my mind isn’t what it used to be, and my forgetting is forgiven.

Pondering this, I was reminded of my paternal grandfather. He was known for being so very forgetful. Everybody blamed it on his age, which he supported most heartily.

I remember talking to him one time before his passing and asking him, “Grandpa, why is it that you forget so many things?”

He looked at me, winked, and said, “Forgetting is an art.. Not too many people can do it sufficiently.”

“What do you mean?” I said.

“Forgetting is a legitimate way of getting out of doing something you don’t want to do.” So he stopped and laughed for a moment and continued, “It takes a lot of memory to be able to forget as much as I do, and it has nothing to do with age.”

I began learning a little more about my grandpa as he explained it. If he didn’t want to do something, he hung it on his old age and forgetting. I don’t know anybody who has built on that better than my grandfather. I was beginning to understand him now that I’m at a certain age.

Some people think getting old is a bad thing. Oh yes, there are some things I cannot do today that I could do 50 years ago. But that’s not the issue. The issue is to take advantage of your age, especially if it’s “old age.”

“Old age” has certain advantages that did not come with being young.

When invited to go somewhere I don’t want to go, it is easy for me to say, “I’d love to, but at my age I just don’t have the energy.” I then can flash a smile and get off going to the place I didn’t want to go to in the first place.

When I was young, I took advantage of being young. I have the scars to prove that, of course. But now that I’m old, I need to take advantage of old age. And as a country boy, I plan to milk my old age as much as possible.

The Bible says some very positive things about getting old. My favorite verse on this subject is, Proverbs 16:31, “The hoary (grey) head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.”

I’m not the only one that is getting old. Everybody gets old, but the “way of righteousness” is the key.