I have officially become a grandfather as my daughter Christine gave birth to a beautiful baby girl Ellie. This might sound foolish, but I was a little worried because people had told me that they love their grandchildren even more than they love their children. What if I didn’t feel that emotional bond with my grandchild? Would there be something wrong with me? Fortunately, I’m finding that I visit Christine and Peter almost every week, whereas before Ellie was born I only went once or twice a year. I must love her.
Ellie was small and thin when she was born, being delivered three and a half weeks prematurely. But now she’s getting chubby, thanks to her mother’s milk. She can’t quite focus her eyes yet and isn’t able to recognize me, but she is ridiculously cute when she smiles, even though I know it’s not really a happy smile but more like a grimace due to gas. Doesn’t matter. It’s cute.
Although I’m very happy, I’m also somewhat sad about becoming a grandfather. Especially when I watch movies. Part of the joy in watching movies is being able to escape and imagine ourselves as one of the lead characters. Now that I’m a grandfather, it’s harder to do that. I’m realizing that I’m not the young hero. I’m becoming one of the extras, a supporting role, one of those characters who are old or helpless. This makes me sad because I still feel young at heart. Adventures still excite me and love stories still make my heart beat faster.
I admire people who are able to live without the hope of eternity. If there were no such hope I would probably be deeply depressed. But because I have the hope of eternal life, guaranteed by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, I am kept from despair.
I think I understand now why older people with money and power don’t yield it to younger people. They know that once they do, they are giving up the role of a main character and becoming an extra. I hope this doesn’t happen with me. I constantly remind myself that I must disappear from the limelight when I retire. Many churches experience conflicts – even splits – after the retirement of a senior pastor because these pastors continue to yield influence. I believe that senior pastors should work hard when they hold their positions but should become nobody when they retire in order to give their successors a chance to succeed. I am seriously considering moving to another state after I retire so that my successor will feel free to do things his own way.
I have to learn to age gracefully. I should discipline myself to not miss my youth or not try to look younger but focus on resurrection and eternal life.
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