Thoughts on Turning Sixty-Eight

For the past few weeks I have been teaching a Bible class for older folks.  I don’t believe there is anyone in the class under 65 or so.  Since, in a few days I will be the ripe old age of 68, I feel right at home.  At the moment, we are working our way through Leviticus, one of those seldom-studied books.  It’s full of instructions for all kinds of offerings enabling a holy God to live among a very unholy people.  A lot could be said about that but, at the moment, I am thinking more about age than holiness.

Old age is, among other things, interesting.  For one thing, sitting still, I don’t feel old.  It is only when I get up and try to move around quickly that my body reminds me that it has seen better days.  I wake up in the morning with plans to accomplish the same things I did at, say, forty.  As the day progresses, reality sets in: I’m nowhere near the capabilities of forty.  It is disappointing.  Still, I keep at it as best I can.

One of my older-than-me friends tells me there are perks that come along with age.  People want to help you.  They open doors for you and ask if you need a hand.  Young women smile at you and don’t consider you a threat.  You get senior discounts.  That’s all I can think of right now.  I think, however, I would trade these “perks” for more “pep.”  Yes, I would trade it all for pain-free hips, knees, a well-behaved back, and being considered more dangerous in the eyes of young women.

The ranks of the “older folks” are bursting at the seams.  The solvency of Social Security and Medicare systems are threatened.  I notice more and more advertisements aimed our way.  Care facilities for older folks (skilled nursing, assisted living, etc.) are popping up everywhere.  Movies are being made about old codgers and biddies (good news for our aging actors).  I’m glad I don’t have to go through this “aging process” alone.

So how should you young folks respond to all this?  Well, Leviticus provides a good answer.  “You shall rise before the gray-headed and honor the presence of an old man, and fear your God. I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:32).  OK, I know it’s the Old Testament and the Law of Moses and all that but I still think it’s a good idea.

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7 Comments

Filed under Aging, honor, Humor, Meaning of Life, Men's Issues, Nursing Home, Respect, Thinking, Whitsett News

7 responses to “Thoughts on Turning Sixty-Eight

  1. George Carman

    Dwight,

    We were born the same year! I am about 7 months older than you. Wow! I enjoyed your article. You were definitely describing me! But, isn’t it great that we are still able to teach God’s word to all who will listen. I appreciate you, brother.

  2. Kay Malan

    Dwight – I know what you mean about the “pep” you wish you still had. Yesterday, while moving a lot of boxes, I really could have done with some of that. Just the other day I saw a photo of our young family taken on my husband’s 30th birthday. I felt that I was looking at a picture of some other person’s life. God knows what we need and when we need it, I guess. No doubt Sarah and Abraham received a good dose of “pep” along with baby Isaac!
    PS: Sorry to tell you this, but I can more easily imagine Clarence Odbody, guardian angel, looking dangerous than you!

  3. dwhitsett

    George, thanks. 1942 was a long time ago! Thanks for your example of persevering in the face of difficulty. You are appreciated and admired!
    Kay, Clarence Odbody? I am sufficiently humbled. Only your friends will tell you the truth.

  4. Jon Smith

    Once again, well said, my dear friend. As a younger man, I have always looked up to you since we have known one another. You are a mentor, sage, and dear friend to me. I seek your wisdom and knowledge, which I know is the result of your years of faithful study and service to our Lord. Of course I know you are not perfect; I would not be able to connect with you if you were. But you are FAITHFUL. You have not quit on God, your marriage, your family, or the Lord’s people (even though the brethren have sometimes quit on you). As one who listens, watches, and sees the life that you have lived, I stand up and honor you, my friend and brother. Thank you for what you continue to teach us “young” folks. We desperately need what you have to give. May God grant you many more years in which to give it.

  5. Hal Howell

    Dwight,
    I turned 61 today and I’m right there with you! Karen asked me how I felt, now being 61. I told her that the 13 year old inside is screaming to get out! She said that was strange considering life was falling apart when I was 13. Maybe so, but the world was still full of possibilities. It may still be so but I fell less inclined to take part in much of it. Much of it seems more dimwitted than it used to for some reason. Maybe thats a sign of wisdom, I don’t know. It is even crazier to think that in 9 years I will be 70!!!! EEEEK!
    As for Social Security, I’m thinking its going to be more like Social Insecurity by the time I get a chance… They shoot horses still, don’t they???
    ;-D Anyway, it has turned out to be just another day and there’s not much I can do about it except to thank the Lord for His continuing patience with me. So hang in there, it could be worse. When I hear someone say,”Hey, Old Man!” I suddenly realize they are talking to ME!!!

  6. Hal Howell

    I also meant to add; Great article!

  7. dwhitsett

    Thanks Hal…I am now entering my 70th year (turned 69 the 23rd of last month) and it is a weird feeling! I had planned on blogging about it but things got in the way. I appreciate your comments.

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