SBC Life Articles

The Big “60”

My big "60" birthday is coming and my high school class is having a reunion because most of us are almost 60! We are now officially too old to die young. It is funny how we describe age. When you are a kid, you are so proud of your age that you talk about it in fractions. "I'm five and a half." Well, I guess I'm fifty-nine and a half. I turned 30, I reached 40, I made 50, and I guess someday I'll hit 70. After that it's day-to-day — you are happy to hit Wednesday. In your 80s, you hit dinner. Then it is really day-to-day. The insurance company sends you calendars weekly. I'm not going to live in denial. My wild oats have turned to shredded wheat, and my narrow waist and broad shoulders have switched places. It is the autumn of life and all of my organs have headed south.

Let me give you a few signs that you may have too much sand in the bottom of the hour glass. It takes longer to rest than to get tired. Everything is starting to wear out, fall out, or spread out. Your knees buckle and your belt won't. You have too much room in the house and not enough in the medicine cabinet. You look forward to a dull evening. You drive with your hands in the ten and two o'clock position, and by the time you get out of the car, your grandkids are already in the house. You pull a muscle while applying Ben Gay. Your favorite song is playing in the elevator. You finish entire novels in the bathroom. Actually, you were thinking about putting a revolving door in the bathroom. You choose cereal for the fiber instead of the toy.

You know you are getting older if:

• You have ever wished that there is a thermostat replacement therapy which would allow you to regulate your wife's temperature;

• You have ever said: "You call that music?"

• You would rather watch CSI Miami than go to Miami.

• You get excited over cheesecake flavored yogurt.

• The kid you used to baby sit is now preaching at the Pastor's Conference.

• One of your thrills in life is heated car seats.

• You have to speed up in order to get over the speed bump, and the only thing you pass on the interstate is an Amish wagon.

• Your clothes have come back in style twice.

• The winter pants you hung in your closet last year have shrunk two sizes.

One way you can tell that you are getting older is by how much you remember. I can remember when kids rode in the back of the station wagon facing the cars behind them. I can remember who shot J.R. I can remember when Coke was something you drank, grass was what you mowed, and pot was what you cooked in. Closets were for clothes and not for "coming out." Aides were helpers in the principal's office. But I can also remember what Churchill said: "The farther back you can look, the further forward you can see."

There are some benefits to getting older. You get to eat dinner at four o'clock. Your joints are more accurate than the local weather service. There is nothing left to learn the hard way. You can hide your own Easter eggs. You don't have to worry about avoiding temptation; it avoids you. Also, there is less peer pressure because there are fewer peers.

Since there is no such thing as birthday control pills, I am going to my reunion. Most of the people there will probably be too old to recognize me. The punch will be spiked with prune juice, and we will play some sixties music. Of course, the words will be different. They will play songs like "There Ain't No Burrito Mild Enough" or "Hair Potion Number 9." And, of course, the classics Herman's Hermits' "Mrs. Brown You Have a Lovely Walker," the Bee Gees' "How Can You Mend a Broken Hip," and Leslie Gore's "It's My Procedure and I'll Cry If I Want To" will all be playing on our eight-track.

"Charles," you might say, "this old age stuff is funny but where is the wisdom? That's what old geezers are supposed to have."

As we get older, each birthday ending with a zero comes with two presents: First, an extra dose of reality to the fact that one day we will all be like Jimmy Hoffa — gone. Second, it is an excellent time to evaluate the quality of our lives and ministries. For me, I'm not giving up on fun. Now, I know fun is a lot like insurance — the older you get, the more it costs. I also know that I have to run twice as hard to get there half as fast. But I'm not ready to trade in my Nikes for some bunny rabbit slippers. I'm not interested in any form of organized bingo or putting clothes on a dog or any other animal that already has fur. I'm a simple guy.

Here's my philosophy: Life is not about young and old, it's about dead and alive — and I'm alive. Remember, Moses was 80 before he started his real ministry. Maybe it takes some serious aging before some of us are ready to be really used by Him. So give me that bottle of Geritol; I mean the Battle of Jericho. I don't know what an old geezer is, but I'm not one of them. Give me a fish pill, and — how do the younger people say it? — "Bring it on!"

    About the Author

  • Charles Lowery