I don’t feel old. At least not most days. This weekend was my fortieth high school class reunion and it seems like just yesterday I was setting the numbers 4-0 on the forty-year class table for the “old folks” at the Alumni Banquet. I suppose this officially makes me old. But not older. Earlier this week at the State Fair they had older folks’ day, where you got in for nine bucks instead of twelve if you were sixty years and above, I gladly doled out the extra dough because I was just old, but not older.
We had a great time with those who attended the reunion events throughout the weekend. Some traveled a great distance to join in memory sharing. One gal had just lost her husband to cancer just the week before, but he had insisted on his deathbed she not cancel her trip, so we loved on her a little extra.
Here’s a great surprise! None of us look the same as our senior photos in the year book! Can you believe it? Our hair has changed: color, style and even quantity, imagine that. And you’ll never believe it, our bodies have changed, in ways I will leave to your imagination. Some of you who qualify for being old or older know what I mean.
We have changed.
To which I would add, Thank. The. Lord.
It was a terrific weekend. Events were planned around our little hometown annual celebration, which is always a first-class event, I might add. We had a float in the parade, toured the school which has changed enormously. We met at a friend’s cabin for food and conversation late Saturday afternoon and then at her home for breakfast on Sunday morning. In addition, we had the option of attending the evening events uptown to see and mingle with other local folks over the course of the weekend.
One of my classmates attends the same house of worship I do, and asked me which service I planned to attend this particular weekend, and I said the Saturday night and he asked, “Aren’t you going uptown later?”
To which I replied, “Nope, that person is dead.”
To which I would add, Thank. The. Lord.
High School was not the best time of my life. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I hated it, but it was a time in my life that I really had no clue who I was. I remember I couldn’t wait to get to town for the annual celebration or just about any event because I was desperate to have someone else validate my identity. I just wanted one best friend and one boy to just love me forever. But I went about looking in all the wrong places and in wrong ways. I was imitating others, who, I would venture to guess, were looking for the same things I was in a similar fashion. In a sense, in some ways, we became the blind leading the blind. There were the usual groups of kids you find in school, the “popular crowd”, the athletes, the good students and so forth. And I would find my self looking to others in an attempt figure out who I was. Which didn’t work out so well, because I was supposed to be me not them. I made a lot of bad choices and trouble for myself along the way and I know I hurt other innocent folks as I roared through life looking for love in all the wrong places. I was kind of like the wicked old step mother in Snow White asking, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest one of all?” and then I would try to be like that person.
Until I met my BFF (best friend forever) and man of my dreams. Jesus Christ, who was and is and always be the only solution for the world’s problems, not just mine. And whom, if I choose to follow, I should take my identity in. When I did what he suggested and died to myself, which what going under the waters of baptism represents, I became a new creation in Him, which is what coming up out of the waters of baptism signifies. That is when I stopped looking to the created and to the Creator to define me. Which works a whole lot better since He made me.
Today, I take my identity in him. Not in what you think of me (which is none of my business, by the way) or my lame attempt to be you. The old me is dead and buried, and the hole in my soul I tried to fill with everyone and everything filled with and by Him!
Thank. The. Lord.
Fun to remember the good old days, better yet to have them in the rear-view mirror.
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest one of all?
Be joy filled always,