Devotional: February 16th
Aging is a subtle demon. It sneaks up on you when you least expect it. As a youth I can remember days at play where I ran all day on a football field. In my late teen years I was playing a lot of basketball; first as a freshman in college for the Johnson Bible College junior varsity basketball team, then in intramurals at both JBC and Kentucky Christian.
It was at JBC that I had the most fun in intramurals. My legs were still reasonably fresh and my knees had not yet started to deteriorate. In one game I was called for three goal tendings. In another, one kid on the sideline counted me for more than thirty rebounds. I can even remember being tied up for a jump ball against a senior on an offensive rebound and tipping in the jump ball for a basket. But as the song says, "Precious Memories."
One day I went up for a block against someone shorter than me and couldn't reach the ball. Rebounds that used to be two handed affairs became one handed straining efforts. The occasional breakaway for a dunk was reduced to a layup. My once prodigious thirty-six inch vertical leap was now a fairly laughable twenty-two inches...on a good day with an updraft.
Basketball is not an option for me anymore; not since I tripped over the center line in a game back in '94. Yeah, I know. You don't trip over a center line. But that's exactly what everyone said it looked like when my knee went right at midcourt. But I remembered my Old Testament. I remembered the admonition of the Preacher, the Son of David. "Remember your Creator in the days of your youth." Ecclesiastes 12:1 I did that. I am not a bitter old ex-athlete.
"In the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men bow down; when the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look through the windows grow dim." Ecclesiastes 12:3 My "keepers" (legs) tremble a little now in pain from arthritis while my "strong men" (back muscles) bow down from time to time. My "grinders" (teeth) are still functioning fairly well though they are few and my eyes have to "look through windows" (glasses) just to be able to focus. But I gave my life over to Christ in the "days of my youth." Age, though it has limited me, has not defeated me. I am refreshed daily in the Spirit of Christ.
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