Wisdom from an old Sailor

I love to see the sun rising from my great-room’s east facing windows while sitting in my recliner holding my fat white coffee mug and watch as the sun comes over the horizon, it’s a sight that never gets old to me. That time of the day is when I let my mind roam all over the place, and then I pray for everyone I have promised to remember and call them by name until I can think of no more and then I say, “Lord you have heard everyone that asked for prayer and you know all that I have promised to agree with, I am praying for them now.”

This morning I was remembering the day my first-born came into the world. It was the happiest day of my life when I saw my baby girl with a head full of black hair and beautiful olive skin. One thought led to another and I remembered being in grade school and wishing I were in high school, then wishing my high-school years away by wishing I had already graduated. I imagine you can identify with that and do you remember wishing you were 21? It seems we are never happy with where we are right now!

I teased my dad not long before he went to heaven because all of my life he wanted to be old. When he was a boy the most respected men were the old Armenian men that sat around the prayer table. In that church the younger you were the further back you sat, and in that church you sat on very uncomfortable backless benches. The men went in the front door and sat up front, the women went in the back door and sat in the back of the church, also on the backless benches. The only way you could sit with your back against the wall was if you were old or pregnant! But I digress. To our family it seemed that the thing daddy wanted most was to be an old man. One day he was sitting in his recliner, which also served as his bed, and he was complaining about not being able to get up and go the way he wanted to do, I reminded him that he had always wanted to be old and I said “You made it daddy, you are old, old, old!” We had a little laugh about it and he said that getting old wasn’t as wonderful as he had hoped it would be.

So I guess the point is this, why is it we are never happy with our current status? Young people want to be older, older people are having face-lifts and getting shots of Botox and fillers to try to look younger. The thin want their figures to be curvier while their counterparts are spending money trying to lose their curves. I was surprised when I was talking to a girl about my current diet when she looked at me and said, “You don’t know how many nights I have lain awake and cried because my legs are so skinny. I would give anything to have legs like yours!” I was stunned because I loved her skinny legs! If your hair is curly you buy flat irons and chemical straighteners, if it’s straight you get perms and curling irons, men who are bald wear toupee’s while men with a full head of hair shaves theirs!

Luke 12:22-24 Jesus said, “Don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or if the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your inner life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the ravens, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, carefree in the care of God. And you count far more.” 

So my friend, why are you complaining? My dad used to tell about something he read when he was a boy; it was a sign that said, “I complained because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet.”  The Apostle Paul said to the Philippians 4:11 “Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.”

Now let me quote one of my old favorites from Popeye the Sailor who always said, “I am that I am and that’s all that I am!”

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