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Birthday Lament

by Donald Mehl  
11/17/2011 / Humor

Well, today, November 17th, is my least that is what I am told. Since I have entered the age bracket where I try to ignore my birthdays, I will just have to take their word for it. It is either that, or, I must locate and study my birth certificate for verification.

However, if they are correct, I have broken through the seventy-one year barrier. With that scary thought in mind, I figure it is now high time to stop counting the birthdays. At my age, I do not get as excited about looking forward to another new birthday as I did, say, fifty or sixty years ago.

As I see it, the triple digits are not that far away. In fact, those big numbers are lurking on the horizon, but are becoming more visible all the time. When one stops counting birthdays, however, one would think the narrowing gap between today's age and the age of one-hundred would stabilize...or at least be slowed in its rate of negative progression.

But, that is not the case. When we stop counting, our age advancement toward those three-digit numbers will stop, in our mind's eye, of course, but the triple digits will seemingly team up to counter with an offensive effort of their own. Then, before we realize what is happening, they will be rushing toward us with a three-pronged attack at a rate that is unstoppable. It is a no-win situation.

In spite of what we might try to do to prolong our life span, Scripture tells us in Psalm 139:16 that the number of our days was established even before we were born. Then, Psalm 90:10 states that the length of those years is seventy years - or eighty, if we have the strength, and they will pass quickly.

The seventy years spoken of in that text is logically the average life span appointed for mankind. At age seventy-one, I have cleared that longer below average, but yet, not much above the average, either. Seventy-one is essentially still about average.

But, the part about reaching eighty if we have the strength to do so might be problematic. You see...the strength of my body and mind seems to be slipping away at a rate that is faster than I am aging, or care to mention. I am not quite sure where it has gone.

If I should reach the first triple digit age, I might decide to celebrate that one...provided I remember that it is my one-hundredth birthday. I am sure someone will remind me.

Until then...I will trust in You, O Lord, for my times are in Your hand. (Psalm 31:14-15)

During retirement, my prayer is that I might serve the Lord by sharing the Gospel through my writing. As the Lord leads, my work will inform, challenge and encourage. I also enjoy Biblical theme woodcarving, Bible studies and Christian music. Watch, pray and keep looking up!

Donald Mehl

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