Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: YOUTH (04/04/19)
TITLE: Seven Decades
By Leola Ogle
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My thoughts drift. Recently some friends from my church youth group days got together for a reunion of sorts. We celebrated reaching seventy years, though some already had passed the seventy-year-old mark, and some not quite yet.
Most of us have stayed in contact over the years, but we meet infrequently. Because of that, we’re delighted when we do get together. We giggled as we reminisced, our laughter as light and unencumbered as those teenage girls who still live inside of us. We donned tiaras for the sheer joy of it while the fellows smiled benevolently at us. We thumbed through photo albums – pictures capturing our youthful happiness expressed through our smiles and merriment in our eyes. The world was ours to explore. Sorrow had not yet touched us.
We loved God. We loved church. Often we loved church more for the social aspect than the spiritual. We were tender of heart, full of mischief and shenanigans, on the cusp of the adulthood we thought we so desperately wanted.
Ah, the follies of the young. We should’ve relished our youth, embraced and clung to it as long as we could. We all married as teens and became parents. What were we thinking?
As the decades passed, I often thought of David’s words in Psalm 37:25, “I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”
I have been young and now…now I’m seventy. Seven decades. As teenagers, I considered that ancient. Fifty was old to my young self. Most days I don’t feel old. Nostalgia sneaks up at times with a poignancy so sharp I gasp. My heart and mind swirl with memories. I wish I could put them in a vial that will release a pleasant fragrance at my passing – this mixture of heights of joy and wonder, and depths of sorrow and despair.
That fragrance is the person I have become in seven decades.
So, on this beautiful spring morning, in the dim light, I smile at the young girl in the mirror. With a flick of my fingers, the light turns on and I smile at the woman I am today. I sense God’s presence and I’m overwhelmed with gratitude so strong, it weakens my knees.
I brush at a tear, and this I declare. I was young and now I’m seven decades old, and God has been good to me.
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