Our grandson Matt will soon celebrate his 27th birthday. His daughter, Addison, our first great granddaughter, was born on Matt’s birthday. Matt and I use to celebrate our birthdays together (just a week apart) when he was growing up. He says he can always remember my age simply by adding 50 years to his own!
Where do the years go? All those precious days—Christmases and Thanksgivings, birthdays and anniversaries—all have passed so quickly. Every day is precious—where have all those days gone?
Once we were young. The youthful spirit within us bursting with energy. All the world was before us and nothing seemed too great to accomplish, no challenge or goal seemed out of reach. Then, all at once, those days are no more, the years are gone, and there is little time remaining. Suddenly Jesus’ words in John 9:4 make sense, “I must work, while it is day: for the night comes.”
Precious days still dawn. The night is not yet permanent, the nights still come and go. My mind still works (though slowly) and my heart still beats (though not as strongly). What must I be doing while it is day? What work can I do? What does an old man have to offer? It dawns on me this morning, looking back over precious days, that I am to give that which others in their late years gave me—their CARE. “These three things remain,” writes the Apostle Paul, “FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE (CARE). But the greatest of these is CARE. The word “Love” has been so abused. The word “Care” seems a better description of what others, in their latter days, gave me.
Sheldon Silverstein wrote songs, cartoons and children’s books. He wrote “The Little Boy and the Old Man,” which I think represents the kind of real and practical “caring” (loving) that we, in our final season, are meant to give to those who still have precious days ahead:
Said the little boy, “Sometimes I drop my spoon.”
Said the old man, “I do that too.”
The little boy whispered, “I wet my pants.”
“I do that too,” laughed the little old man.
Said the little boy, “I often cry.”
The old man nodded, “So do I.”
“But worst of all,” said the boy, “it seems
Grown-ups don’t pay any attention to me.”
And he felt the warmth of a wrinkled old hand.
“I know what you mean,” said the little old man.
|In grateful acknowledgment of Mort's "Care" for me.|