Shades of Age
By Dr. Robert R. Kopp
Counting time in the womb, which I always do in the belief that ensoulment occurs at if not before conception (cf. Psalm 139, Jeremiah 1), Ive passed the half-century mark.
And yet I was slightly unnerved when an application for AARP came in the mail for me the other day.
It wasnt as bad as giving five dollars to the guy at the driving range this past summer, getting a dollar back, asking why, and being told, Senior discount.
My wife bought a large print Bible for me a few weeks ago.
Im starting to figure it out.
Though I still bob and weave when Meatloafs Paradise by the Dashboard Light is on the radio and think Jimi Hendrix could have done a lot for church music, I know Im getting old because Im disgusted by those Bob Dole ads for Pepsi and, uh, well, you know. I dont understand guys who wear earrings, women who get tattoos, or anybody who relaxes to rap music.
Of course, I remember when I was young and older folks like me couldnt relate to my generations search for meaning.
Isnt that one of the great things about aging?
The way things never were become the standard for how they should be.
I knew I was aging when I picked up USA Today on 23 November 2001 and got really ticked when syndicated columnist Julianne Malveaux opined, I have always been an ambivalent American, one of those folks who doesnt pledge allegiance to the flag, wear red, white and blue on my lapel… Then she went on to say how much she appreciated the First Amendment, not living in a bizzare country like Afghanistan, and pigging out on our prosperity.
Though I know shes just, one of those left-or-right-leaning-doesnt-really-matter-cause-their-style-with-occasional-substance-is-the-same intellectual snobs who is so above us all that she feels compelled to rub noses into our nations flaws. She does so even amid the continuing sufferings generated by 9/11 as women and men in uniform risk their lives for her creature comforts and the right to insult whom and what have graced so much upon her, Im old enough to know America isnt as bad as she suggests or as pure as some pretend.
Though I cant think of one other country as diverse, inclusive, tolerant and benevolent as the USA, Im old enough to know were not perfect with lots of room for improvement; but intellectually honest enough to acknowledge were a lot better than most.
Maybe thats another part of aging.
Older folks dont see everything so clearly.
They see shades.
Older folks such as I learn that living with the truth about ourselves helps living with the truth about others.
By the time thats discerned, the need for a Savior also sets in.
Sombodys got to lift the shades of age.
Dr. Robert Kopp is the pastor of Bethany Presbyterian Church, Loves Park.