When Birthday Candles Cost More Than Your Cake, 9-23-13

May 18, 2016 | by: Father Chuck Owens | 0 comments

Tags: Padre's Ponderings

Though much is taken,
much abides; and though
We are not now that strength
which in old days
Moved earth and heaven,
that which we are, we are -
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate,
but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find,
and not to yield.

From "Ulysses" by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

padre164I've been reflecting today on a comment Becky made this morning over breakfast: "You looked young last night while you were standing before all those people doing your teaching on character . . . so energetic and enthusiastic even after ninety minutes!" Becky is a great encourager and her compliments are always welcome gifts; but the predicate adjectives she used started me to pondering. Was last night an exception; do I usually look and act like I'm not young? Dare I ask - is it now appropriate to use the word "old" when thinking of me? Bob Hope once said that you're not old until your birthday candles cost more than your cake; well, even if the bottom hadn't fallen out of the candle market, I'd still be young according to that wisdom . . . but then the heat from the blaze of last year's candles did melt the icing on my cake!

When I was a youngster, old folks could be spotted easily, especially in the evening - they'd be out rocking on their front porches after supper; nowadays I can rock for months and not see a one. The other sure fire place to spot old timers was in church - they were there by the droves (for fire insurance purposes, I childishly speculated); nowadays I'm hard pressed to spot anyone who stands out as being old among the growing multitude of youngsters in worship. I'm beginning to think that being old was a figment of my immature imagination; for as the years have opened my eyes, I've come to realize that with few exceptions my elders were not old, they were just more experienced: they openly rested because they knew the folly of burning the candle at both ends and they frequented God's House because their thankfulness never waned. From my bike, I unknowingly labeled each of them a "has been" - from their porches, they knowingly labeled me a "not yet" . . . I pray for such grace and wisdom in this my season of more experienced youth.

In His Power and for His Glory,


Comments for this post have been disabled