My grandson has been spending one day per week with me since he was just a few months old. He's four now and is learning about the world in which he lives. He recently had a conversation with his parents who were trying to explain the cycles of life and death, old people pass on and new people come as babies.
Shortly after he arrived today he shared this new knowledge with me. He said to me, "Grandma, did you notice you're getting old and you might die soon?" I assured him I had noticed but I didn't think I would die today. He was satisfied and no more was said on the subject.
I remember very well when I was four and sat on the lawn waiting for my sister to come home from school. I wanted to go to school so badly I could taste it. And I had to wait SO long until I was old enough to go to school. A year is long when you are four.
I finally did go to first grade when I was a little shy of six years old. As soon as I could read, I devoured every reading book as soon as I got it. But then summer came and it was a long time before school started again. I had forgotten some things over summer and needed to refresh my memory, especially in math.
After that, time moved a little faster and I marched through ten grades. My parents wanted me to graduate from high school but I was having problems with Algebra and gave up. I said I can sit in school until I'm forty and never pass Algebra. Two more years of school seemed like a long time, so I quit and got a job.
I had just turned seventeen when I started dating the guy I eventually married. The Vietnam War was going on and he was drafted a few months after we started dating. He moved out of state to serve two years of I-W service (alternate service for conscientious objectors). I still thought two years was a long time. But those two years eventually passed and we were married two months after he finished his service.
After that the pace picked up and the years rolled along faster and faster. With a growing family and work load there was never enough time in a day to get everything done. Before we knew what happened we had been married twenty years and had six children. We were never in the habit of going off by ourselves to celebrate anniversaries, but that year we did. We went to the New England states and had a wonderful break from responsibility.
We came back, shouldered the load again, and time moved faster than ever. I wondered why I thought two years was long. Two years were nothing and went by in a flash. Five years was short and I only stopped to mark the decades when the numbers on the calendar or in my age rolled over.
Ten years went by, and another ten, and we were married forty years. The nest was starting to empty as our older children had married and established their own homes. When I looked at the family pictures we had taken through the years, the change was obvious. My hair had changed color without any help from me, and I looked like my mother. Yes, I noticed I was getting old but life was still full and busy and aging wasn't hurting me.
Now another nine years has passed faster than ever before and the aches and pains of aging have set in. Next year we will mark our fiftieth anniversary, Lord willing. I remember when my grandparents had their fiftieth anniversary and thinking that was really unusual. Fifty years seemed like a very long time and Grandma didn't tell me how short fifty years can be.
Also, at the end of next year I will reach my "threescore years and ten." Whatever time I am given beyond that is a bonus. The signs are all in place that I am getting old and might die soon. I doubt I'll ever reach the point of being able to say I have done everything I want to do because time goes faster and faster, and I keep getting new ideas for things I should do. But I do want to be a good steward of whatever time I have left and use it wisely. The road isn't as long looking back as it is when you're looking ahead.
Ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. James 4:14