I Can’t Believe I’m Sixty-Five!

“My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far I’ve finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.”– Dave Barry

Here it is my 65th birthday. I can hardly believe it! Alan said a little wistfully the other night, “You know, when we were 14, it never occurred to me that we might be 65 some day!” For sure! We were both the “babies” in our family, but even so, when we were 14, my mom was only 49…which seemed pretty ancient at the time…but now seems relatively young given that my oldest is turning 40 today while I’m turning 65!

So, what will I do with the rest of my life, how much ever the Lord gives me? I decided to turn to one of my favorite mentors for advice—my personal Gandalf who oversaw my years of leading mission trips, and the man to whom I would always say (even at age 55): “When I grow up, I want to be just like you!”

Carl SmithCarl is heading into his 29th year of missionary service since his post-retirement years, and although his body is getting worn, his spirit is still young.

When I asked him why, he sent me this quote from T.S. Eliot: “I don’t believe one grows older. I think that what happens early on in life is that at a certain age one stands still and stagnates.”

When I asked him how, he sent me this advice:

“We only progress as much as we intercede before the Lord.” —Carl Smith

“There are two axioms of life I follow religiously:
1.) I live today, as if to die tomorrow–I learn today as if to live forever.
2.) If not now-When? If not me-Who?”

I won’t try to give you a resume of his work, but suffice it to say, he’s poured his life into helping others, perhaps most significantantly, the impoverished and demeaned gypsy population of Romania.

When I asked him how long, this was his reply:

“You know the feeling you experienced when you closed the blue book after writing your final fourth-year exam at university.  ‘I never want to do that again’? Well, I have the same feeling when I return to the States after ministering in Romania for six to seven months each year. Each time I say, ‘I think I will retire now’-and then after being home for three to four months the idea of returning starts to churn again. I can never stop!!”

Carl, you’re still blazing the trail for me!  May I (we) never grow old in spirit; may we ever love God above all else and share His love with those around us!

“How do you know if someone needs encouragement?
If they’re breathing.” —Truett Cathy

“The practical application of charity was probably
the most potent single cause of Christian success.” —Henry Chadwick
(mentioned in my son Jonathan’s last lecture on Global Church History)

“By this shall all men know that you are my disciples,
if you have love one to another” (John 13:35).

4 responses to “I Can’t Believe I’m Sixty-Five!

  1. Charylene Powers

    Kathi, What a wonderful birthday post – may you have a blessed birthday. May God bless you and your family this next year of your life.

  2. Really? I thought you were 5-10 years younger than me! I wasn’t thinking of the age of your kids!

    I feel like I’m just starting; after so many years giving care to my family, I needed something to keep from getting emotional-mental tendinitis! And needed an inner identity other than ‘care-giver’…and God gave me the gift of time when he brought in outside help. I also find that the gift of history He gave me is significant and must be fought for as Jesus Christ is being pushed further out of our nation, and out of the lives of millions of children, while the Presence of our God is written all over our original documents which many people are, and have been, trying to hide these records from our children. You and I, myself to a greater extent, are some of those poorly taught children! I don’t know just how much history you know, or how many documents you are aware of that exist, revealing the Presence of God, or the indication of His Presence, whether any particular society, in any age, has rejected or accepted Him.

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