Nov 13

Is anyone going to argue with that?  How can they?  Getting old sucks and, the really crappy thing is, there isn’t a thing you can do to stop it.  As long as you are alive, you will get older.  And no matter how well you take care of yourself, time will not be kind to you.  Your once supple young body will become a fragile hindrance to a joyful life.  No one can really avoid aging, and aging means you will get old (at least older than you were).

 

I went on a camping trip recently with a bunch of scouts.  One of the other adults on the campout took some pictures and posted them on Facebook.  In one of the pictures, there was some old piece of crap holding my coffee mug and wearing my jacket?  When did this SOB sneak into my tent and steal my stuff?  Then I realized, the old SOB was me… I wanted to cry.  Is that really what I look like to others?  I’m even more hideous than I originally suspected!  Was I always like this?

So I went looking at some pictures of me when I was younger.  I found the following:

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Yes, I was a goober.  Yes, I was a dork.  This picture was taken when I was most likely a sophomore in high school.  I was around 15-years-old.  I was the age my oldest son is now.  Even though I was a tool, look at how young I appeared!  My smile was sincere, my freckles were fresh, my eyes sparkled.  I looked like the kind of guy who would be fun to hang out with.  I could see me being friends with this guy.  He seems to have a certain amount of, oh, I don’t know, joy?

… and then I go back to the recent picture of me on the camp out…

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This is what 44 looks like, boys and girls. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

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There doesn’t appear to be any joy in this face.  The smile seems forced, only there because someone is shoving a camera in his face.  The freckles have long since faded into the abyss of age.  The eyes are sunken, dead, no sign of spark.  It almost appears that someone, at some point, may have smacked him in the face with a shovel a few times.  Wrinkles everywhere.  His eyes are strangely off, again going back to the smacked with a shovel theory.  This does not look like someone I would want to hang out with.  This looks like someone who is going to start every conversation with, “Back in my day…”  Good gravy, how did this happen to me?  When did I become this !?!

Life.

Life did this to me.

You can sugar coat it any way you want, but life tends to… well… suck the life right out of you.  Those wrinkles aren’t from smiling too much.  The eyes aren’t dead because of some deeper gained understanding of some critical knowledge.  The beard isn’t gray because of some sort of wisdom nonsense.  I look the way I do because life takes a toll.  Dreams aren’t realized and goals aren’t met and hairs go gray and wrinkles appear.  You start to be more realistic about what you are actually going to accomplish with your life and your eyes lose most of their sparkle.  You swear that you are never going to look as old as the people that you thought of as old when you were young, and some jerk hits you in the face repeatedly with a shovel…

Life’s tough, kiddos.  Enjoy your youth while you have it.  Do the right things with it…

Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth,
Before the difficult days come,
And the years draw near when you say,
“I have no pleasure in them”

Ecclesiastes 12:1 (NKJV)

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