by Jamie Buckingham
Everybody I know, when they consider the only alternative, wants to get older. Well, my daughter, Sandy, doesn't want to get older.
But she never has accepted that we can't halt time. She thought 9 was the magic age. "Daddy, I want to stay 9 the rest of my life." The same was true with 12, 16, 18 and now 21.
But everyone else I know wants to get older. My mother says now and then that she's ready to die, but I doubt it. I remember my dad telling us kids about an old man back in Indiana named Purcell who worked for my grandfather in the grain elevator.
Working in a grain elevator in the heat of summer was a miserable job. One afternoon, after a particularly hot, dusty, sweaty, fly-stinging day in the grain bins, the old man went into a nearby stable to pray. Grandpaw Buckingham was working in the feed lot outside and heard him calling out to God. "Dear Jesus, come quickly. Come get old Purcell. It's so hot, so miserable I just can't take it any longer. Come take me home, sweet Jesus."
Grandpaw took his shovel handle and thumped on the door. Loudly. There was a long period of silence and finally a frightened voice from within said, "Who there?"
"It's the angel of the Lord, Purcell," Grandpaw roared. "I've heard your prayer." There was an even longer period of silence and finally a quivering voice answered, "Purcell ain't here right now, but let him know you have been asking about him."
I think my mother's like that. She says she's ready to die—but she does everything possible to stay alive. Old age is not a disease. It is a marvelous condition that most everyone I know is eager to catch.
Unfortunately, it's not contagious and too many folks shuffle off before their time. But when you consider the alternatives, old age is a pretty good deal. There are a number of ways to keep from growing old. You might want to take up smoking. Or drugs. Drinking and driving is a sure formula.
Over-working, over-eating, over-worrying or a combination of any of the above will surely keep you from growing old. Or, if you really want to keep from growing old, have an affair. In fact, anything which keeps you out of God's will is almost guaranteed to keep you from growing old.
A friend of mine worried so much last year (he was especially concerned about losing his hair) that he finally had a heart attack and died. His worrying did accomplish one thing. He'll never have to be concerned about growing old. Read More