A foursome of senior citizen golfers hit the course with waning enthusiasm for the sport.
One said, “These fairways seem to be getting longer and longer.”
The next complained, “And these hills are getting steeper as the years go by.”
The third chimed in, “Yes, and the sand traps seem to be bigger than I remember them.
Hearing enough from his buddies, the oldest of the foursome piped up and reminded them, “Guys, just be thankful we’re still on this side of the grass.”
Well, yesterday, I celebrated 75 years on this side of the grass!
At various times in conversations with my wife, Norma Jean, family members and friends, I repeated, “It’s hard to believe I’m 75.” But I am. It’s a milestone that’s difficult to envision when you’re 20 or 30. Or even 40.
I think a lot of us who are part of that intrepid group known as Baby Boomers, can relate to a quip by the poet and essayist Jonathan Swift who observed, “Every man desires to live long, but no man wants to be old.” Swift was born in 1667 and died in 1745. So, apparently our attitudes about aging haven’t changed much in 300 years.
Maybe that’s why the Psalmist brings us back to reality with these sobering words:
The days of our lives are seventy years;
And if by reason of strength they are eighty years,
Yet their boast is only labor and sorrow;
For it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
This morning, as I’m up at an hour much earlier than I prefer, I’m also reminded of the wise man’s description of growing older in Ecclesiastes 12 that includes this observation: “When one rises up at the sound of a bird.” Well, it wasn’t a bird. But the result is the same.
As I reflect on these years while drinking a hot cup of coffee in the early morning darkness, I’m struck by the irony that my life can be summed by three two-word phrases on my coffee cup.
It has been faith that has sustained me through all these years. While we’ve enjoyed years of joy, prosperity, and success, we’ve also experienced sorrow, loss, and failure. We’ve endured death of our loved ones. In some cases, unexpected and tragic death. We’ve experienced financial set backs. And we’ve suffered heartache and heartbreak.
What supports and sustains one through tough times? Faith. We’ve often wondered, “how do people without faith in God survive when adversity strikes?” The answer is–some don’t. And others are barely hanging on.
I can say that my faith has never failed me. However, there have been times when I’ve failed “the faith.” If I’ve wavered, strayed, or doubted, faith has been there. Like a rock of refuge. Pointing me toward the Lord’s promises, provisions, and providential care. It’s faith that has supplied help, hope, direction, and comfort.
It’s faith that will see me through to end of the way.
As I grow older, I treasure more and more the memories of family. The values I was taught by my parents. The carefree years of youth cherished with my brother, Bill, that ended all to soon. The relationship enjoyed with extended family–Aunts, Uncles and Cousins.
Today, I’m blessed to treasure the abiding love of my wife, Norma Jean for the past 55 years, who made my day special. Yesterday, my day began with a call from our daughter, Rachél and a sweet happy birthday song. Our son Kenny and his lovely wife April, hosted my birthday party with food, fun and lavish gifts.
And now that we’re grandparents, we treasure the new memories being made with Roy, Fern, Miles and Katherine.
Life’s is fleeting and it’s demands are too often daunting. Slow down. Treasure your time with family.
The third couplet on my cup reminds me that my life has been blessed and enhanced by so many friends.
Yesterday, I received phone calls, cards and messages from friends around the world. My facebook page was filled with over 400 “Happy Birthday” messages, most of whom are actually friends in real life! I read every one and appreciated hearing from friends dating back to my boyhood days in Indiana, high school and college classmates, and those with whom we’ve worked and worshiped in churches in the past 50+ years. There were many personal messages that reminded me that our friendship is founded in our faith and a commonalty in Christ. What a blessing.
Imagine 75 years of life summarized on a coffee cup? It may sound trite, but it’s true. And I hope its message will resonate with you as well.
As I reflect on whatever years the Lord sees fit to let me live, I’m going to apply the advice of one of my friends who simply wrote, “Journey on.”
I will. As I have faith, treasure family, and enjoy friends, I journey on.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
6 responses to “75 Years of Life Summarized on a Coffee Cup”
Amen and Happy Birthday 🎂
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Ken, this was so good, the analogy of the coffee cup has so much meaning. Happy Belated 75th Birthday and may God bless you with many more. I celebrated my 83rd in December and am very thankful for each day that I’m blessed in every way.
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Than you so much and Happy Birthday Ken!
Thankful for your 75 years and the encouragement and spiritual insight you bless us with. Happy Birthday and may God bring low those hills and give you strength to walk long fairways for many more years.
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Thank you so much Jim. I appreciate your constant encouragement and kind words
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