Not Ready For Old Age
Deer season ended a couple weeks ago in northern California. Early in the season, I shot at a buck and missed. My marksman fail educated that buck. He will now grow up to be an old buck and will help multiply his species. I like to think of it as my ministry to educate deer in the name of conservation. Sure, some hunters with quick reflexes and keen eyesight can bag bucks. But if it were not for dedicated hunters like me, those guys would have no bucks to bag.
I’ve hunted with the same guys for decades. They don’t always appreciate my efforts at deer population management, but I love those guys nonetheless. One of the men I hunt with, Don, is eighty-seven years old. Don told us that this would be his last year hunting. Time marches on, as they say. While sitting at his breakfast table in the pre-dawn hours before a hunt, Don told me about some of his ailments. He concluded by saying, “I’m an old man.” (Heck, Don has been an old man for some time now.) Don then said, “I’m not ready to be old.” Those words haunt me. They remind me of 1 Peter 1:24 where it says:
“All people are like grass,
and all their glory is like the flowers of the field;
the grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of the Lord endures forever.”
There is inevitability to our human life under the sun. We age. Youth, vigor, accomplishments, purpose . . . it all fades. Eventually it can feel as if there is not much to look forward to. We get to an age where we can no longer do the things we have always enjoyed. Many folks linger in that place of limbo for years before this life ends and the next begins. That place of limbo can be weary and discouraging.
Fortunately the last part of the verse above contains a beautiful, albeit mysterious, encouragement: “but the word of the Lord endures forever.” God’s word includes many truths about eternity and how He will take care of us. For instance, in John 14:1-4, Christ promises that he has gone to prepare a place for us. We really don’t know what God’s place for us in heaven will look like or what we will do there. But his eternal word strongly implies that we have something to look forward to, even if we are not ready for old age in this life. Whatever he is preparing for us, it will be good because He knows us better than anyone.