I handed my items to the cashier as she asked, “Would you like to take advantage of our Senior Citizens discount?”
As I felt my face flush, I tried to push off her obvious affront and replied, “Excuse me?”
She repeated a little slower and a bit louder, “Do you want the Senior Citizens Discount? It’s for anyone over 55?”
Indignantly I said, “Well, I’m only 54.”
She replied, “Well then I guess you don’t qualify.”
Boldly I said, “That’s not the right answer, Sweetheart. The right answer is, YOU DON’T LOOK 54!”
That was two years ago.
When did I get old? How did age creep up on me?
Funny thing, until recently I didn’t feel old. Yes, my body has typical aches and pains, not everything works as well as it did before, but old? Nope not me!
Just recently I had been discussing my desire to increase my speaking and writing engagements and someone called me “fortuitous.” Not being familiar with the word, I asked the person to clarify their statement. They explained:
“Most older folks (pardon my saying that) after having done life, plus a stable career for as long as you have (and in a profession that values consistency, all the facts lining up neatly and predictably) it’s a HUGE risk to step out into something new and different from what you have done. Most folks tend to just hunker down in the familiar and become narrow minded, shifting into sameness preservation mode. All the more I salute you!”
They were really trying to give me a compliment.
The message I received loud and clear was that I had finally reached the ripe age of old.
This message has been rolling around in my head all week. Why did this person think I was old? Was I acting “old?” Should I begin to wear more “age appropriate” clothing? Do I need to throw away my jeans and purchase some polyester pants with elastic waistbands? Should I trade my sneakers in for a pair of thick soled rubber bottom, Velcro banded shoes?
Why is this bothering me so much?
Because if I’m truly old, then maybe I should be “hunkering down, shifting into preservation mode” feeling comfortable in the years I have left.
But there’s still so much I want to do.
Why am I choosing to accept a message from someone who barely knew me rather than believe the message God, my creator, has for me? Why do I believe my value is beginning to end, when God tells me differently?
God’s Word says:
I am chosen by Him (1 Thessalonians 1:4; Ephesians 1:4; 1 Peter 2:9)
He tells me I am redeemed (1 Peter 1:18, 19; Galatians 3:13)
I am blessed by Him. (Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Galatians 3:9)
I am beloved of God (Colossians 3:12; Romans 1:7, 1 Thessalonians 1:4)
I am alive with Christ. (Ephesians 2:5)
This shell called “my body” may be growing old, but my soul is still young.
I still have value.
I still have purpose.
I am precious and deeply loved.
I am defined only by God. His Word and His Word alone is my ultimate truth showing me that I am cherished and deeply loved.
Starting today I’m going to remove “hunkering down” and “preservation mode” from my vocabulary. My jeans and sneakers will remain and I will continue to exercise to keep my body in as good a shape as possible. I’m going to rest to renew my soul and enjoy the wisdom that comes with age.
Until my dying breath, I will live each and every moment to its fullest. The lessons I have learned needs to be shared, especially with cheeky cashiers who think they know it all.