Concordia Plan Services

RRR heading

 

LEA is looking for writers

LEA is looking for writers in front-line ministries for articles in future ShapingtheFuture magazine pieces. If you would like to write, contact ed.grube@lea.org (do not reply to this publication) to express and discuss your interests.

 

other STF links

iWhy: Why I Became a Lutheran School Educator (Feature)

"What Did Gary Do This Time?"
(Feature)

Out of the Minds of Babes (ECEnet)

Protestant Reformation and Global Education (GLEnet)

Teaching and Reaching First-Year Teachers (LEADnet)

Not a Faith Graduation (PEN)

 

Visit LEA’s EncourAGEnet website!

speeding at 70

Egad! I’m 70!

The reality of 70 comes into focus but in the perspective that 70-year-olds are still old people.Amazing how 70 sneaks up on you—and I’m not talking about the speedometer as you whiz past Smokey lurking on the median. When you’re 25, the seven-decade mark looms so distant that one could hardly say it looms at all. By the time 50 prompts a landmark-year surprise party, the reality of 70 comes into focus but in the perspective that 70-year-olds are still old people, or, as political correctness dictates, older adults. As the gauge moves on to 60, 65, and beyond, 70 becomes something you hope to be—a surprise birthday with or without the party. Permit me to review signs along the way to 70 that you might overlook until they are in your rearview mirror.

You start feeling your agedness when you surmise that…

You could add to the list. So why don’t you?
I’ll leave you some space to think:

its all downhill from here!Another jolt (or maybe just a twitch) came when I received a letter from the Cremation Society. Now I have no burning desire to be cremated, but that letter prompted some pondering about future real estate needs—and I’m not talking about a little home on a lake. Such homes exceeded my ability to lay a nest egg, but a few plots at the Lutheran cemetery provided proper motivation to plan for my next abode—should the Lord return later than I’d like. A fortuitous sale—yes, half-price plus two-for-the-half price of one-sale—prompted a purchase. Check in the mail, deed in hand, and…egad! I’m 70.

Lest you consider me morbid, I will dwell on the brighter side of 70, though it fills the left side on my personal number line. The brighter side is that God never allowed me to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish when I was 21. Now, now, stifle those sighs and awwwws. This is a good thing!

Had God not pushed, pulled, or dangled Twinkies (not fond of carrots) before me, I might have ended up a wealthy business executive—maybe a copywriter with a high-profile ad agency and a staff of yes-sayers serving me. I would have had two luxury cars, a mansion with a grand piano in the living room, a beautiful, caring wife, two wonderful children, and the deed to a retirement home on a lake filled only with lunker bass.

And then there were all those experiences with top notch teachers…But God did push, pull, and dangle Twinkies of life. I ended (well, not really ended yet) up a professional church worker, paid like most professional church workers, a school leader with a staff of dedicated teachers who didn’t always say “yes,” a writer who doesn’t have to worry about globe-trotting book signings, a minivan and a “retro car,” a modest home with an accordion in the closet, a beautiful, caring wife, two wonderful children—and grandchildren, and a deed to a garden suite in a quiet neighborhood. And then there were all those experiences with top notch teachers, the bunch at LCMS School Ministries, districts and committees, CPH, and LEA to which I was privy and who helped me grow…! I’d say I did pretty well in life. And it’s not over, as LEA continues to tolerate me, even encouraging me, on occasion, to surface for air from my garden suite (some things don’t change).

I suspect you have similar stories.

I’ll leave a little space below for you to reminisce and jot down a few key words—before you forget and miss an opportunity to enjoy life as you’ve lived it. (Warning: Do NOT JOT on your screen.)

a slippery slopeGod promised to take care of us. He didn’t promise to give us everything we wanted. Whew! Good God! “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him” (1 John 5:14–15) and “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 4:6–7 And of course we don’t want to forget one other one. Let’s see, what was that again? Something about all things working out well.

…and increasing awareness of how God has blessed you.Other perks await picking at 70: No-fault naps, growing old with a spouse who knows you oh-so-well and still loves you 44 years and counting, grandchildren who keep you feeling younger than you are (63, at least!), a life of church work—good, bad, ugly and all, and increasing awareness of how God has blessed you. Oh, and also looking confidently forward to the next phase of life.

Egad! I’m 70!

What a blessing, as I look back, live in the present, and am content with whatever future remains. You who beat me to it probably have a knowing wink; you who aren’t here yet…. Egad! It’s coming sooner than you think!

Ed Grube is director of publications and communications for LEA.

Author’s note: If you don’t know what egad means, you’ve likely not heard of zounds or gadzooks either and you are too young to read this. (Now I tell you!) I would enlighten you thusly: All the words have dark origins, lightened by clever writers seeking to make a morally scrubbed end run past censors who banned swear words in Elizabethan times. (No, this is not from memory.) Egad was a substitute for ye God (or Oh, God today). More innocently, egad became an expression of surprise, sometimes used by famous literary characters such as Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.

Quoted Scripture: ESV®

Photos © iStock/bizoo_n, Akchamczuk, justhavealook