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Getting Old Is Not for Sissies

Dr. James L. Snyder

I will not admit to being old, but I am older than I was 10 years ago. Those 10 years have been filled with all kinds of things helping me to get older.

I saw an article that said that 60 is the new 40. I have no idea what that means, but I think out in our culture there is an obsession about age. People cannot accept getting older.

This year was the 50th anniversary of my high school graduation. Unfortunately, I did not get to go, but I did see many of the pictures from that celebration. Looking at those pictures, I did not know how old my high school friends really were. It probably was a good thing that I did not go for a variety of reasons.

The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I were sitting around enjoying an evening cup of coffee. Nothing like a good hot cup of coffee to settle the nerves. It’s not that I have nerves, but it’s just an excuse to drink coffee.

I think of what my old uncle Ed used to say, “I never had a bad cup of coffee, but I do confess I have had a cup that was better than others.” That seems to be my sentiment as well.

The older I get, the more I enjoy my coffee. One year I tried to switch from coffee to hot tea. Sorta like the Britons do. Let me say I did not last the whole year with drinking hot tea. No wonder Britains speak with an accent. I decided to go back to coffee and I am unanimous in that decision.

Getting back to my wife and me drinking coffee together, the conversation shifted in the direction of how old we actually are.

“Boy, we’ve come a long way, haven’t we?” I think my wife is right in that observation.

We spent a few moments reminiscing about what people call the “good old days.” I must say we had quite a few of them. Of course, my wife remembers more of them and the details about them then I do. But that’s okay. Sharing a memory is one of the great blessings of life.

It is often said by certain people that we remember things in the past better than we do things that have happened today. I go along with that. I cannot remember what I had for breakfast today, but I do remember what I was doing 50 years ago.

Fifty years ago, I began my Bible college days. Then, a year later I met what became the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. Those memories are forever etched in my mind.

What is strange about this is that I can remember more details each year than I did the year before. Oh, isn’t memory a wonderful thing.

The thing that troubles me is that my wife remembers a memory different than I remember that same memory.

She begins a conversation by saying, “Do you remember…” Then she’ll go off when some memory deep in the past. Some of the details of that memory seem to be familiar, but I go along with her.

It is wonderful to have memories and everybody has memories. The thing is, some people have good memories and some people up bad memories. Some people choose to focus on their bad memories and others choose to focus on their good memories.

The other day I forgot something I was trying to remember. For the life of me, I could not remember it. Why is it that you cannot remember so0me things that are happening right now?

Then it hit me. My memory is like a computer disk, which has a certain amount of memory on it. Once you use all the memory, you cannot put any more memories on it. You must get a new disc.

I wonder if that is what’s going on with my memory? Maybe I have used up most of my memory space.

I shared this with my wife and she looked at me and said, “I think you have something there.”

My memory is not quite that bad, but I can never remember her saying anything along that line especially to me. I just went along with her.

“Maybe,” my wife said rather thoughtfully, “we should delete memories in the past that we no longer need. That will make room for new memories.”

Only my wife could come up with something like that. But as she talked on, it sounded like a good thing to do.

I looked at her and said, “Can you tell me where the delete button is on our memory?”

“Silly boy,” she said, “do I have to think of everything?”

Whatever the solution, I think it is important to make room for new memories. Enjoy the ones in the past, but do not let the past hinder the present.

Thinking on these things it occurred to me that getting old is not for sissies. It takes a real man and a real woman to blossom into old age. If you are not careful, getting old can wear you out both physically and mentally.

Thinking about this I thought of what David said. “They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness” (Psalm 145:7).

No memory is better and more refreshing than my times with God.

Dr. James L. Snyder, pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, lives with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage in Ocala , FL. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail The church website is

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