How old am I?

I thought this was an interesting question. Asked of me in October 2017 I offered him this set of answers:

  1. My passport and my birth certificate say I am 55.
  2. I 'am' 9 months older than that, so I am 56 years old biologically. (Psalm 139:13 and Jeremiah 1:5)
  3. My doctor said this year that, 'Despite being fat you are healthier than the average 25 year old' (those were his actual words, and when I guffawed, he explained why he was serious.) I consider this a gift from God. There is nothing significant that I have done to achieve this or deserve this and lots (like being constantly overweight and being a desk jockey) to do the opposite, so it is simply a gift that I have no rights to, only huge thankfulness to Jesus Christ for. For those of you that can't accept that - take it this way: I'm lucky.
  4. I aim to have a 'mental' attitude (flexible, like new wine skins) of a 29 year old, hopefully being open to changing my understanding of absolute truth, not swayed easily by the latest new thing, but able to weigh and consider and, only when I am wrong - but always when I am wrong, change. This is something I have actively pursued since my teenage years, based largely on Luke 5 and similar scriptures.
  5. I hope that I have the knowledge and wisdom of a 90 year old (not the senile ones!) and unlike Solomon, I strive to apply my wisdom in my daily life. (James 1:5, Proverbs 18:15-24 and many others)
  6. I strive to have the playful attitude of a 16 year old. I've noticed around the world, even in my own country, that once one becomes an 'adult' it is not 'appropriate' to play with children anymore. I get down on the ground - even outside wearing a nice suit, and play with children. My children, other children. The result: I find most children are naturally attracted to play with me. In India, 2014, I was surprised (I had not done enough cultural study) to see that even a 20 year mom or dad would not play with their kids in the park - well, until after 20 minutes of watching me play with my little 4 year old friend - they then started hesitantly to, and I've seen similar results in other countries. Again this is a choice I made many years ago based on scriptures like Mat 18:4 and Luke 18:17, and I will therefore continue to strive for this knowing it is what God wants of me. I know that my 'childish' behaviour causes some people to not want to have anything to do with me - and I'm OK with that, I figure those people are too self-important for me to want to deal with them. OK maybe I should be more willing to act like a stuffed shirt around them (I Corinthians 9:19-23) just like I play like a child with children. But that's my 90 year old side kicking in, OK, I'll work on this defect of my personality and try to act more like a stuffed shirt when appropriate. Sigh, I guess I still have some growing up to do.

Hopefully, whether you are young or old, you will consider these answers, and think about what your answers are and what you would like them to be. Then I hope God gives you the grace to accept what you cannot change, and strength to change what you can. Paul said that physical exercise has little benefit. But he did not say it has no benefit (I Timothy 4:8).

Around the same time, I met a lady who had been a foster mother for 50 years - she didn't look older than 60 to me. So I said 'So, you've been a foster mom for 50 years...' She replied 'If you are going to ask me my age, I'm not telling anyone!' I said with a twinkle and a grin 'No, I wasn't going to ask you your age ... I just want to know how old you were when you started fostering.' She had a big grin, laughed and said 'ok, I was 28'. I told her that based on how good she looked I thought she must have started in her teens because she didn't look older than 60. She seemed to like that answer - and I wasn't kidding.

Published: 2017.Oct.24     Last edited: 2017.Nov.03

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