I’m getting older but please make me better not bitter.
Yesterday morning I rolled out of bed and realized I’d just turned 62. Where did the years go? People warned me to watch out for my 40th birthday and my 50th birthday and the 60th birthday. I breezed through those. But, God, you know this was the hard one. How is it possible I’m old enough to walk into the Social Security office and sign up?
You’ve given me a great life. I’ve experienced so many wonderful things.
Thanks to you my life is filled with amazing people. You’ve treated me far better than I deserve. Move over George Bailey. It’s been a wonderful life.
But like most people my age, I’ve known heartache and disappointment. And, not that I’m keeping score, but they weigh heavy on my shoulders. I’m starting to understand the temptation of old people to become bitter. For us older folk it’s easy to focus on:
- the unanswered prayer for a terminally ill friend.
- the promotion which went to someone less deserving.
- the illness which never goes away.
- the enemy who seems to have gotten away with murder.
- the friends who stabbed you in the back with a poisoned dagger.
- the people who take joy in making personal attacks.
- the perpetual snub by the boss.
When bitterness sets in, it makes sense. I understand. But God, help me to get better not bitter.
I don’t want my heart to shrivel up like a 10 day old peeled apple. I’m not interested in walking around with a smelly buffalo chip on my shoulder. I want to avoid living under a self-generated dark cloud of pitiful pity.
Dear God, help me to get better not bitter.
Help me to be a better husband, father, grandfather, and friend. Keep the frown off my face. I want to be a better champion for love. Chase away any judgmental spirit. Crush any sniff of arrogance. Smash even the slightest hint of rebellion against you. Make me the real deal.
God, with your help I intend to look toward the sunrise, not the sunset. I will anticipate the future and dissipate the past. I choose to focus on the good, not the bad. And when heartache camps on my doorstep help me to drop to my knees.
Dear God, I’m getting older but please make me better not bitter.
Thanks for listening.
Your Social Security Aged Friend,
I echo this poignant letter, Randy. You’ll do just fine. Happy Day After Your Birthday! And, God bless!!
You are a man of few words. But when you speak people listen!! Thanks friend.
So beautiful and and such a faithful and honest prayer . thank you for sharing
Thank you Pastor Hartman for the perfectly timed letter! And Happy Birthday to you also!
Hey Randy, just beautiful. I hope that when I’m your age (ok, that came out wrong! :D) but really, I’ve just passed the first sigh-inducing milestone: the AARP eligible age … so am not far behind! I hope I can have the outlook that you have! I’ve begun to hear the knees and back complain, which too often is causing my mouth to do the same.
But I appreciate you. You’re a mentor, a cheerleader, a rebel–you rebel you!–and so I thank you for your words of encouragement and honesty. I feel like we’re on the same team, cheering each other on to victory! May we stay out of discouragement, out of ourselves! And invest in … in … anyone! (just going over what you’ve been teaching). Again, thank you man! I’m greatly encouraged by you!
Your kind words will put a smile on my face for a long time. Yes. I think we are cheerleaders for each other! Thanks man.
As someone who is a few years beyond SS age (OK 5 years beyond Medicare age!!) I agree; it’s so easy to become bitter and cynical as the years roll by and hurts, disillusionment, disappointment, and the “aging thing” happens. I have to admit, I’ve slipped into the bitterness pit a time or two. The only way I’ve found to claim better over bitter is get my eyes back on Him and off of me & circumstances around me and the ugly side of the world we live in! His peace really does pass ALL understanding! Thanks for sharing your thoughts & encouragement to choose better over bitter!!
Thanks Peggy for adding your wise words to the conversation!
After feeling a stretch of illness,about 15 years ago, I remember telling my mom (who was in her 60’s at the time) that I didn’t see how people lived that long. (60’s , that is) I am thinking differently now. Want to guess how old I am?