It was just before New Year's and the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and I were relaxing after a busy week of toil and labor. Not paying much attention to my surroundings, I had immersed myself in a favorite book.
As far as I am concerned, nothing compares to a favorite book when you are trying to relax and unwind. I turned the page and happened to notice on the other side of the room my wife was all a twitchy. I have seen this behavior before and I knew she was anxious to say something. I pretended not to notice.
Finally, it was as if she exploded. "I can't wait for the New Year. Aren't you excited?" I answered in the affirmative to try to keep the conversation as minimal as possible.
"No, I mean aren't you really excited about the New Year?"
I knew if I was going to get back to my book I would have to let her say, what was on her mind. According to her, the approaching New Year was going to be spectacular. Everything old, she explained to me, would be new again.
We have been in this New Year for a couple of weeks now and, I will not contradict my wife, at least aloud, but this New Year looks suspiciously like the Old Year.
I am not quite sure what she thought would be different this year, but to me it is just the old year run through again. And, that is good with me. I am not one of these persons that needs the latest flash in the pan. I quite prefer the tried and true.
It was about two weeks after the New Year and my wife said, "I'll be back in an hour or two, I'm going shopping."
It did not dawn on me at the time but about 10 minutes later, it did. The reason my wife was so excited about the New Year was that she was going to go out and buy some new clothes.
After all, according to her calculations, the New Year deserves new clothing.
I smiled as I thought about her going to the store trying on dresses, seeking one that would fit her both in size and in fancy. As for me, I am quite comfortable in my old clothes. They fit me just fine, thank you.
Women have to look fine all the time. Men, on the other hand are not that particular about what they wear. I can wear the same shirt for days on end and feel just as comfortable as the first day I put it on.
My clothing does not make me feel any younger. I go along with the saying that says you are only as old as you feel. Of course, I do have some of those Methuselah moments.
Everything old was once new and if new last very long it ends up being old. Therefore, whatever is old was once new and whatever is new will one day be old. This is where most people make their mistake. They fail to see the relationship between old and new.
For example, as much as our culture pretends to be youth oriented, it does everything to get old while looking young. I often have this conversation with my wife. I am not old, I am just getting older and my plans are to get older and older and older.
The great object in life is to get as old as you possibly can while looking and feeling new. Nothing to me is sillier than a 40 year old trying to act 20. The mind may say 20, but the body really knows it is 40.
If people would put the money they spend to look young in a 401(k) their golden years would truly be golden. How much money is spent each year on plastic surgery? What I want to know is, who in the world do they think they are fooling? Their mirror?
Right after the New Year's celebration, I got up one morning feeling terrific. There was a bounce in my step, a giggle on my tongue; I was feeling like I was 20 something. I had not felt this good since I cannot remember how long. Then it happened.
No matter how good you might feel some day, there is always something or someone who can undermine that and put you in your proper place.
My mistake was going into the bathroom. There in the bathroom for all the world to see, especially me is this ghastly object called a mirror. When I looked into the mirror, I was shocked to see I was not alone. I thought I had come into the bathroom by myself but there in the mirror was this old guy I hardly recognized.
My first reaction was to ask him to leave the bathroom and then I noticed something. That person in the mirror was me! All of those exhilarating feelings dissipated as reality grabbed hold of my soul and soundly shook me.
In my Bible reading that morning, I read what the apostle Paul said. "And be renewed in the spirit of your minds; and that she put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" (Ephesians 4:23-24 KJV).
Only God, in His wisdom, can create in me something that is truly new.