Use time to fill up on Father’s grace

Curtis Shelburne

I’m beginning to wonder if someone—maybe Someone—is trying to tell me something. Since my oldest granddaughter just turned 5 and I just turned 55, I suppose the good news is that I’m ripe for the message (poor metaphor). That’s also the bad news.

We might as well admit it: When it comes to this “aging” business, unless we’ve stopped aging (a serious situation), we’re all in the same boat. Better be seriously careful about looking down on old people; in ten minutes or so, we’ll be them, be we presently 5 or 55.

Some birthdays grab our attention a bit more than others. A good friend turned 65 three days before I hit 55. He says that having nine exceptional grandkids eases the blow, and I already have enough grandkids—three of them and each of them obviously exactly of that “exceptional” variety—to be sure he’s right. Just yesterday another friend who recently blew past 60 candles confessed to me that he found that number a bit stark and sobering.

So . . . today I fire up my e-mail program, having put on my reading glasses and sitting here with an ice pack over my aching shoulder (dunno what I did), and I begin perusing the subject lines.

One promises, “Observations on Getting Older.”

Another quickly labels itself as an ad for “Social Security disability.” It’s of the e-mail type that claims to be IMPORTANT, proving conclusively that it’s not.

A third offers hope: “Win a High Tech Winter Beauty Makeover.” It assumes, I suppose, that anyone so rapidly approaching life’s winter might need a “makeover” on an emergency basis.

Still another also alludes to age, but its truth makes me smile: “Your Kids Are Becoming You, But Your Grandkids Are Perfect.” What it doesn’t say is that my kids, who’ve always thought I was old, also think that I’m getting younger (as in, “more childish”) all the time, inexplicably shedding the kind of sedate maturity they’d always expected.

Ah, but the e-mail subject line that really got me this morning was this one: “Consumer Reports Health: Curtis, Time Is Running Out On Your Free Gift—Offer Expires Soon.” Just quickly scanning, my eye at first conveyed to my brain only a few words: my name, “Health,” “Time Is Running Out,” and “Expires Soon.”

Well, time is running, for sure. And, in view of eternity, we’re all “expiring soon,” whether we lay it down in the next 90 seconds or in 90 years. Whatever time we have left, here’s a prayer that we allow our Father to use it to help us look more like Him—to love more, laugh more, fill up more on his mercy and grace, and, with deep joy, live into his Joy Eternal.