Just a calendar number anyway!
When you go to buy a super-suitable mattress these days, you are supposed to know your “sleep number.” I don't know that, but my “lived number” is 31755. That is 87 x 365 which is the generous number of days filled with “goodness and mercy” which according to Psalm 23, have followed me through the valleys and mountaintops all the days of my life.
My 103 year old beloved cousin Martha who lives in a retirement home sent me the sweat shirt which was given her when she attained the young age that I reach today. It pictures a laughing Minnie Mouse cartoon figure with the words, “I'm NOT 87! I'm 18 with 69 years experience!”
I hope that I'm wiser now that I'm full of years and that I will be greathearted to share that wisdom...but only when I'm asked!
Do You mean it, God?
Do You expect me to celebrate aging?
Of course I did in my youth:
I hurrayed the milestones
the red-letter days—the birthdays
festive with red balloons
Koolaid and chocolate cake
candles and presents
feted with favorite peers
in my exciting childhood years.
But at some point I stopped counting
and cut the flashy fanfare.
The numbers got stuck at thirty-nine
at least Jack Benny's and mine
and the years slipped quietly by
neither lauded nor applauded
more solemnized than commemorated
but not unrecorded on my face
and in my creaking knees
and aching back—
oh yes, time did keep track!
You DO mean it, God?
It's actually in Your perfect plan
for man (and woman too)
to ripen and mature and celebrate
whatever time of life
You've granted so generously
to Your “forever child”
Okay, so then I'll be
jubilant and carefree
blowing out my 87 candles with gusto
and opening excitedly
Your delightful presents
of all the new days still ahead
as I count on Your guiding hand
and ever-faithful presence!