I had no idea, really, until I heard it on the news. I’m one of ‘those most vulnerable.’ I’ve heard it nearly every day, several times a day, for the past couple of weeks: I’m not sick, mind you. My underlying health issues aren’t compromised. I’m just … old.
Agatha Christie wrote that she lived ‘… on borrowed time, waiting in the anteroom for the summons that will inevitably come.” I guess all of us live on that borrowed time, don’t we? We all live in that crowded anteroom, waiting for the inevitable (and unavoidable) summons.
I guess I should be glad someone is looking out for old ones like me. But, somehow, the ‘looking out for me’ that my government, my society, my culture provides isn’t what’s on my mind, these days. Instead, the ‘sequestering’ I’m experiencing allows me to look ‘inward,’ and reflect on other realities; important things I need to notice, I think. Things about me and … Him.
A personal reflection, then. An open ‘letter’ or prayer, to the Only God There Is:
May I know what a mature life really means, Lord. Help me define what it means to be well-lived, and then live my life to that definition.
Some days. I feel my age.
Some days, I just ‘know’ I’m getting older.
Every time I stand up, it seems,
My painful back tells me.
I look into that morning mirror.
I see my wrinkled brow, and I notice, again Every Day:
I suspect, perhaps, that I’m not getting old.
I’m already there.
I’m not sure when ‘getting old’ starts. You would know the answer to that question, Lord.
Life’s beginning, and middle, and end were all known and “scripted” by your good hand.
And my measly bit part in that script must surely be approaching a final ‘curtain call,’ I would think.
Not Today, perhaps.
Maybe not even this year or next.
But in that grand scheme of yours — that ‘Wherever?’ plan for me that you have known all along —
It can’t be too many days or weeks or months or years,
Before my ‘time’ will have come.
I’m one of the old ones, now.
And I know the end surely is in sight.
As I approach my ‘finish line,’
It’s too late for accolades or notice of adoring fans.
But then, your grace assures me; your love convinces me:
I can be confident of your smile and approval; applause from the Audience of One.
May I be content with my station and place in this journey, now, Lord;
May I quietly take my seat at life’s learning table, as one of the “old ones,”
Busying myself daily with your good and creative work, while I wait for your sweet, beckoning call.
Life lived well is no game, for certain.
More like a drama on some temporal stage.
I can only trust that my part on that stage has been well-played.
My lines delivered with conviction,
My scars earned through years of struggle, and rehearsal and contending with life’s improvisational theatre.
May I be clothed, Today, Lord, not with some ornamental costume of ‘pretend’ or impersonation. Rather, may I be wrapped securely in the only robe that matters: Your loving righteousness.
Yes, I guess I’m one of the old ones, now.
Help me finish my part in life’s drama by acting my age, will you?
Because I have travelled miles, and heard the music of life’s storied song,
I should be at a place in my journey where people notice things about me; things like character, and wisdom, and love; things that truly matter.
Time’s march and its effect on my body are easy to see, now, I suppose.
But, I wonder?
Can the same be said of my character and my thinking?
We mature ones need to act our age.
We need to deport ourselves before others in a way that causes them to take notice of the God we have known; the God who has walked with us, along the way.
Time has surely seasoned our many seasons, and our short path toward Your finish line, Your Day of Rest.
To be older and hopefully, wiser, is an honorable thing, I think.
And I’m convinced … I’m one of the old ones, now.
May I be the kind of maturing and seasoned man who acts his age, Today.