My youngest son turned thirty years old in July. Thirty years old! I never thought that I would live to be thirty years old, let alone have two kids in their thirties! My seventeen-year-old self could not begin to comprehend the 57 year old me.
When I was seventeen I had hair. I even made fun of my uncle, Pastor Bill Brewer, because of his lack of hair. I asked him if he “combed his hair with a washcloth.” He chuckled, but I am sure that a little part of him died. It wasn’t his hair, because he didn’t have any, but something died, I am sure. Little did I know then that my uncle and I would share a hair style. Well, technically, a lack of hair style.
When I was seventeen I drove a 1965 Rambler Classic. It was so boxy, it looked like a refrigerator tipped over on its side. The difference between my car and a refrigerator is that a light comes on when the door opens, and a refrigerator is cold inside. My Rambler was neither cold inside, nor did its light work. Over the years I have had some incredible cars that seventeen-year-old Jerry could have only dreamt of.
At seventeen I was trying very hard to get know young ladies. Many young ladies. Any young ladies…
At fifty-seven I know many young ladies. They all think of me as a father figure, which is fine with me, since I am old enough to be their father, or even grandfather. Besides, one young lady stole my heart almost 35 years ago, and she still takes my breath away all these years later.
As I write this, I am in my motorhome in Northern California, with my best girl and my two grandkids. Grandkids! My seventeen-year-old self could not comprehend a me with a motor home and grandchildren.
As we grow, things change. We start out as babies who are dependent on others for everything. Then we get older and become independent. We learn to dress ourselves (some of us better than others), we learn to feed ourselves, and we mature. And we think somehow we have made it. “That’s it. I have reached the pinnacle of adulthood.”
But there is more…
There is one more step to growth. We need to learn to be interdependent. Interdependence is where we realize that we need others, and others need us. Over the years, my wife and I have come to understand that we complete one another. Together, we make an unbeatable team. Through thick and thin, rich and poor, we have stuck together. Neither one of us could have accomplished alone what we have together.
There is one more member of our team, and he is certainly the one who makes it all work. God has been with us since before we were us. As we dated, Lanette and I made sure that we kept God forefront in our lives and eventually in our marriage. Ecclesiastes 3:12 says, “A chord of three strands is not quickly broken.” The third strand in our lives and in our marriage is God. As long as we hold to him, we will hold together. Granted, it hasn’t always been easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. I love the story of the little boy who went to Sunday School and learned that Jesus went to a wedding and turned water into wine. When he got home his dad asked what he learned from this story. The boy thought for a moment and then answered: “If you’re having a wedding, make sure Jesus is there.” That’s good advice.
Seventeen-year-old Jerry thought he had it made. Little did he know that he not only didn’t have all the answers, he didn’t even know the right questions! Now, at fifty-seven, I am just beginning to understand what life is all about, and I can’t wait to see what’s ahead!
Getting old ain’t half bad… Jerry