Daily Devotionals

Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life

Devotional: July 27th

Ancient but not Crusty

Ten years ago I was forty-four. My hair was dark. What am I saying? I actually had hair. I was still fairly active, playing softball for the church softball team and even doing some periodic jogging. At times I would walk a golf course and carry my bag. At that time, I remember thinking that being forty-four was getting up there. Now I am ten years closer to "up there" and, my, how things have changed! My dark hair is now gray, what's left of it. The arthritis in my knees has progressed enough that walking a golf course while carrying my bag is definitely out of the question.

Age can be debilitating. It also can make you feel old when you realize you're keeping company with people half your age. While working for Office Max a few years ago I was somewhat taken by the fact that I was more than twice as old as several of the employees. In fact, I was the oldest person working in that particular store and I was the delivery driver. Every day I loaded my truck by myself and took merchandise to a number of homes and businesses where I carried all the items in myself. Not bad for a guy who was getting "up there."

Amateur George Zahringer played in the Masters at Augusta, Georgia, in 2003. As an amateur he was lodged in the fabled Crow's Nest atop the antebellum clubhouse at Augusta National. His fellow amateur roommates? Four young men ranging in age from twenty to twenty-two. When asked how it went, Zahringer's comments were along the personal habit line. "None of them has learned how to make a bed, He said. "Of course, when I was in college I hadn't exactly mastered the skill either."

Age has that benefit. After being around for a long number of years, we older folk have mastered a thing or two. However, just because there is snow on the mountain does not mean that we should be revered or honored. Age is not its own merit system. In fact, those who are the older men in a congregation and lead the church should never assume that they are to be followed simply because of their age.

"Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by constraint but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock." 1 Peter 5:2, 3 Age demands that all that experience be put into practice as wisdom. The aged do not "lord it over the church," but rather give the sweet example of what a life lived for Christ looks like as it nears the home stretch.

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