Sappy Sounds Good to Me

“They shall be full of sap and very green” Psalm 92:14

This is the year of Medicare for me. How do all those businesses know? And the calls…I think I will forward them to one of my friends that makes fun of me—a young one. One letter I received l this week touted “Free Pre-Paid Cremation.” I guess keeling over now is cheaper, though Cheryl might object.

Is this the end or a new beginning? Can this season be purposeful, satisfying, God-honoring, and kingdom of God building?

Who would have thought a hundred years ago turning sixty-five would be a milestone?

Though our own culture is aging—10,000 baby boomers retire daily—we worship at the fountain of wrinkle-free and athletic youth and at the altar of radical personal freedom. But they are hollow—and not God’s call. I watched moss grow under the feet of retirees for ten years when I was a part-time pastor of a wintertime golfing resort. It was a gift from God. The other 50-60 hours a week I was a prison chaplain, complete with strange religions, threats, and lawsuits. (There were many, many bright spots, too.) The resort folks loved my family tremendously. Yet, when they weren’t golfing or choosing the evening restaurant, most seemed empty.

But I noticed something. In midst of the thousands we met over the years, the ones that seemed most satisfied with life—the ones with joy deep inside—were the ones who served sacrificially as a response to their love for Christ. Harvey organized and led Sunday services; Bob and Lib often called me to tell of someone they were taking a meal to because something had happened; some stayed on call for hospital runs and visits; many reached out to my family and me knowing the demands of a prison chaplaincy. They exercised their spiritual gifts of helps, mercy, faith, leadership, giving, and encouragement right where they were. They were kingdom builders and Christ-reflectors. Think about Romans 8:29: we are “predestined to be conformed into the image of Christ.” Consider Titus 2, exhorting older men and women to intentional engagement with younger men and women, teaching and building them up in their faith. Harvey and Bob were that to me in those days.

Psalm 92 has the life-stimulating promise that “the righteous” can “flourish…grow… yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green.” Sappy sounds good to me these days.

Kailie, my twenty-something niece, posted this quote recently: “The well-educated person is the person who has the habits of mind and heart to go on learning what he needs to learn to live in a Christ-exalting way for the rest of his life—and that would apply to whatever sphere of life he pursues.”

The mail and phone calls for my Medicare year aren’t urging this plan from my young niece. I think she already has it right and I plan to fully subscribe.


1 Response to “Sappy Sounds Good to Me”

  1. 1 Gam-ma McDaniel September 12, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Perspectives change; values remain…..You’ve got them right!


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