Age or aged

Brenda Cannon HenleyBy Brenda Cannon Henley
My son is normally a kind and thoughtful man. He is my pastor and he cares deeply for all his congregation. He counsels many hours each week and is good with all of the members of our church. He is a huge sports enthusiast, he travels often and speaks in other churches and meetings. Finds time somehow to be involved in civic affairs and be an encourager to other pastors, evangelists, and staff members. He and my daughter in law have six children (two were foster children whom they adopted), and now, they have two daughters in law and two grandchildren.

Some would say my only son has gone a little overboard on “the grandparent life.” He loves being “Poppi.” We all get a daily posting on social media of Harlow and Shiloh (which we admittedly love).

He has aggravated me a wee bit recently with something he thinks is quite funny – Me, not quite so much. Brent has taken to telling me fairly often, “Mom, enjoy yourself today. You’re living on borrowed time.” I know what he means and I know better than anyone how old I am.

Just for the record, come Christmas, I will celebrate my 81st happy birthday if the Lord wills. I thank God for my good health and credit my inherited genes for much of my ability to still work every day, travel at will, care for my own home, and the like. I do not, for one minute, take these blessings lightly and I have many dear friends that can no longer do as they once did. I don’t have to work, but I enjoy it and find joy helping others.

I know where Brent gets the idea that I am on borrowed time. The Bible clearly states, “The days of our years are threescore years and ten, and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is thy strength labor and sorrow, for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” (Psalm 90:10) In the man-designed subject headings found in most Bibles, the one preceding this verse in my study Bible simply says “The Brevity of Life.”

There are many references in Scripture to life, living, length of one’s years, God’s protection, provision, and promises. Instruction is also given about how our older people or elders are to be treated. In Psalm 71, David prays for God to be with him in his old age. Verses 9 and 18 especially ask God to be with him when he is old and gray headed.

Job 12:12 teaches that with the ancient (very old), is wisdom and in length of days is understanding. Older people have an amazing amount of helpful information to share with younger people. I only wish I had listened better to my own grandparents and aunts and uncles, and perhaps recorded more of their memories and knowledge than I did.

I am grateful for my length of years and good health and I do not take it lightly. I also realize my son loves me very much and is really only teasing with his “borrowed time” jokes.

Dr. John Brent Stancil, Pastor of Community Bible Baptist Church, Pinellas Park, FL, and his mom, Brenda Cannon Henley

However, in reality, he is absolutely correct. We all are living on borrowed or gifted time. When God says our earthly life is over – It is! When you visit a cemetery, you’ll notice graves of all sizes and birth and death dates on the markers sometimes very close together. I have been to way too many funerals of dear friends and their family members in recent months. Some were my age, but most were younger.

The secret of happiness is being ready to face eternity when you die and leave this earth.

Brenda Cannon Henley can be reached at 409 781 8788, or
[email protected]


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