You see, yesterday, I reached a significant milestone as I completed my 61st year of life and turned 62. Many times throughout my life, I pondered what it might be like one day if l managed to live to my present age. Of course, in those days, 62 seemed quite old. But not anymore.
While my children and grandchildren may see me as old, I don’t see myself as such. I may look old; but I don’t feel old. Nor do I think of myself as old. And if indeed, one is as old as he or she feels, then I like to consider myself a youthful 62.
While I received many congrats from many folks, one in particular stands out. My daughter sent me a text recounting a conversation she had just had with her two oldest sons (the first and fourth of my seven grandsons respectively), who are all of 6 and 4 years old themselves:
My Daughter: “It’s October 26, Granddaddy’s birthday!”
Her Six Year Old: “He is 62!”
Her Four Year Old: “Yeah, Yaya (their name for my wife) and Granddaddy are the same size!”
After I had a hearty laugh, I replied with the “I’m laughing so hard I was crying” emoji face. While my wife and I are the same age, we are hardly the same size. She has me by about four months; but I have her by a good eight inches north to south and by an even more commanding 120 pounds east to west!
By God’s grace, out of our respective 62 years, we have had 40 of them together in wedded bliss (along with seven more which we spent dating beforehand). In this sense, we truly are a good balance for one another, despite what the scales say.
While neither one of us knows how much time we have left in this world, I pray we will spend it together. And that it will be filled with as many blessings as the ones so far have been.
But I pray for more. I pray that we will be able to continue spending our retirement years in a productive manner. In my own case, as God continues to give me strength, and opportunity, I hope I can use the talents He has given me to glorify Him and enrich the lives of others, be that though speaking, writing, or whatever other platform He may choose.
I am blessed to be able to spend these latter years of my life out in the country amidst an abundance of farms. But as I walk each and every day and behold the beauty of the pasture land surrounding me, I realize that one must remain vigilant so as not to find himself or herself prematurely “put out to pasture”.
May I be among those the Psalmist referred to as the ones who “flourish like a palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.” Of these, (in Psalm 92, verses 12-15) he said: “Planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. In old age they will still bear fruit; healthy and green they will remain, to proclaim, ‘The LORD is upright; He is my Rock, and in Him there is no unrighteousness.’”
These days, I think a lot about a single massive apple tree that once stood all alone out in my own grandfather’s pasture. Though old and weathered, it purely abounded in apples every year of my childhood. In doing so, it enriched the lives of all who ventured by it.
At this point in my life, I am quite comfortable being out in the pasture, as long as I can still bear fruit in my old age, and be a blessing both to my Heavenly Father and to my fellow man. I pray to God that I can and will do so for many years to come.