Thursday, May 29, 2014

Finding Out: Growing Older?

“What’s it like to be old, Gramma?”
“Ask me in about 10 years.” Then she added  “Old is always ten years away, I figure.”
“But you look kinda old,” was the honest reply from the little voice.
“Well, your Grandpa is six years older than I am,” she smiled.
So little Luanne went to the front room recliner where Grandpa was reading the newspaper.  
“What’s it like to be old, Grandpa? Grandma doesn’t know,” she began.
“Ah, you have come to the right person to ask.  Sit here on the footstool, and I’ll tell you all about it.”

What a nice time they had, the older one and the young one.  Grandpa Goodwin was full of sensible words.  He started off with, “Growing older is a blessing from our Heavenly Father.  He gives each of us a certain number of days.  Do you know how many days I’ve had, so far?”
Her questioning frown turned into a grin when he pronounced, “I’m 29,220 days old.”
“That’s a lot of days!” she giggled.
“Well, Luanne, on your birthday next week you’ll be 2,987 days old.  And I’m positive about that.  Know why?  I found it on the Internet, and I wrote it down to remember it.”
“So, I’ve got lots of days to come,” she said.
“Now, let’s get practical. Growing older is a challenge, it’s learning new stuff and then getting a test now and then to see if you’re applying what you know.  You do want to do what’s right, and you want to not do what’s bad.”
Luanne nodded her head, probably remembering the scolding she got at Aunt Ellen’s house last week.  
“Well, growing older means growing up. Your baby sister Darla was just this big when your mom and dad brought her home from the hospital.”  His gesture showed a small size.  “Grandma and I have both stopped getting taller a long time ago!”
He went on, “Now you’re going to school.  Here’s your big opportunity to grow up by putting lots of information into your brain.  Some of it is hard to do, but that’s like doing pushups like the kids on that TV show we saw yesterday. Builds your muscles, and that’s good.” He flexed his arm and Luanne copied him.
“I am stronger than I used to be,” she agreed.
“Now, here’s the biggie.  You get to make a lot of choices as you grow older.  When you make the best choices it might be hard, but you can pray about it.  Your Heavenly Father wants you to know the truth.  Remember that song in Sunday School, ‘Jesus Loves Me.’  It is impossible to be totally good, and each of us needs to confess our sins to God and invite Jesus into our heart.  Gramma and I did that a long time ago.  So did your Mom and Dad.”
“Oh, yes.  I remember that.  They told me. And they taught me John 3:16 in the Bible.”
“Good. Well, if there’s anything else you want to know just ask.  I used to work at the hardware store and that was good exercise for my muscles and my brain.  And I used to teach Sunday School for the high schoolers, that was good exercise for my brain and my mouth! Choosing the best words to say is something I don’t want to forget how to do.”
“I hope you never die, Grandpa.  You are so smart.”
  “Well, my day is coming. No one knows much ahead of time.  But finding out what life is about and finding out how to get ready to meet your Heavenly Father is the certainly the most important thing.”
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By Elaine Hardt ©2014