Okay, last year I ragged on why my 79th birthday was a big nothing. It was no round number. No one aspires to be 79. It's never recognized as a remarkable milestone.
But now I'm 80. That number is round. It's a milestone: "You have reached 80."
As I thought about this blog my mind could not stop thinking of Moses. When he reached 80 God was just now ready to use him to deliver the children of Israel out of Egypt. One big difference "His vigor was not abated" (Deuteronomy 34:7).
Our forebears left us with some quaint expressions. For example, when one is an old duck, the Presbytery calls him one of the "fathers" of the church. That doesn't mean that he has begotten a whole congregation. It means he has become one of the elite wise men of the body. Now that scares the liver out of me. The idea that any of these sharp, intelligent young men now in our Presbytery might look to me for wisdom is absolutely terrifying. Wisdom is not a matter of chronology. The longer experience I've had only means that I have learned how many blunders can be made in one lifetime.
There are things I can get away with now that I couldn't as a younger man. I can be crotchety, and people take it in stride. "Oh don't mind that insult. The man is 80 years old."
I can opt out of activity because it is nap time. "I can't possibly go to that committee meeting. I have a previous engagement."
When someone else is driving, he tends to drop me off at the destination and then find a parking place. When I'm looking for a parking place I find a blue wheel chair symbol near the front door. We have a handicap license.
Would you believe that the Presbytery actually sang "Happy Birthday" to me during the recent meeting? I groaned inside and thought we have more important business than this. But as they started to sing, I realized how much better any song sounds when this group of 40 plus men belt it out.
On the actual day (Oct 21) I was dumbfounded to see my dearest friend in this world (other than my sweet wife) who came 3,000 miles just to be with me on this occasion.
Okay, now the celebration is over (hey, I still have a free meal at Hoff's Hut to redeem!) I can get back to shuffling along to the tune of the loving kindness of my Father in heaven. Now that is sweet.