The amaz­ing won­der of A.G.E.

Record Observer - - Religion -

I have just cel­e­brated my re­cent birth­day. By now, it is get­ting to be old busi­ness for me. Just an­other day of the year to cel­e­brate some­thing, which just hap­pens to be my birth­day.

I be­lieve that if it is my birth­day, I should be able to cel­e­brate what­ever birth­day I want to cel­e­brate. You are only as old as you cel­e­brate.

I am not em­bar­rassed at how old I am, I just some­times can­not re­mem­ber the ex­act fig­ure. Some of my friends are rather le­gal­is­tic along this line and are de­mand­ing the ex­act num­ber of my birth­day. Is it re­ally that im­por­tant? Does it re­ally mat­ter how old you are?

Well, if you spoke to some of my friends it mat­ters to them. For those of us, how­ever, who have ex­pe­ri­enced a suc­ces­sion of birth­days it does not re­ally mat­ter.

Think­ing of my birth­day this past week I was try­ing to fig­ure out what was my best birth­day. All of them had cer­tain sig­nif­i­cance to them. For ex­am­ple, my 16th birth­day al­lowed me to drive the car. How­ever, I could only drive the car when my father said I could drive the car.

My 21st birth­day was very im­por­tant be­cause I then could get mar­ried. Back then, you could not get mar­ried un­less you were 21 years of age. Be­fore that, you had to have your par­ent’s per­mis­sion. I have asked my par­ents for many things through­out the years, but I think ask­ing to get mar­ried is just cross­ing the line some­where.

Ev­ery birth­day starts a new year of ad­ven­ture and ex­cite­ment. When you get older, ad­ven­ture and ex­cite­ment sort of goes away a lit­tle bit. It can be ex­cit­ing to cel­e­brate an­other birth­day and won­der where you go­ing to be at when your next birth­day comes around.

Some peo­ple feel it’s a lit­tle neg­a­tive to get older. If you do not get older, it means that you have …. Well, you know the rest of that sen­tence. I find noth­ing neg­a­tive about get­ting older. I find cer­tain ameni­ties are as­so­ci­ated with get­ting older that I could not cash in when I was younger.

When I was younger, I could not get away with much of any­thing. Now that I am older, I can get away with things be­cause I have a few niches I can use. “I’m sorry,” I of­ten say to the Gra­cious Mis­tress of the Par­son­age, “I for­got all about that. You know I’m get­ting older now.”

She smiles and shakes an un­der­stand­ing head. It is won­der­ful to have an ex­cuse for things of that na­ture.

For my birth­day this year, I dis­cov­ered some­thing rather in­ter­est­ing. This year I dis­cov­ered the amaz­ing won­der of A.G.E. If you look at age from the proper per­spec­tive, you do get some very in­ter­est­ing en­joy­ments.

I sup­pose I should ex­plain to you what I mean by A.G.E. It never oc­curred to me un­til this birth­day cel­e­bra­tion. A.G.E is sim­ply Ag­gres­sive Grumpy El­e­gance. I never saw this be­fore, but then of course I was not old enough to ap­pre­ci­ate it.

When I was young, I no­ticed my grand­fa­ther had some rather grumpy ses­sions and I did not quite un­der­stand. Now that I am ap­proach­ing my grand­fa­ther’s age, I ap­pre­ci­ate that grumpy at­ti­tude. Oh, the won­der of Ag­gres­sive Grumpy El­e­gance.

If I ever thought youth was ex­cit­ing, it is noth­ing com­pared to this A.G.E. that I am ex­pe­ri­enc­ing right now. It is so won­der­ful to be grumpy when­ever you choose.

I know some peo­ple are grumpy be­cause they are just grumpy. That has noth­ing to do with this won­der­ful Ag­gres­sive Grumpy El­e­gance that I have dis­cov­ered.

It takes quite a few decades to mas­ter this kind of at­ti­tude. I am de­lighted to say I have reached that stage in my life and I am mas­ter­ing this part of Ag­gres­sive Grumpy El­e­gance. I just can­not say it of­ten enough.

For ex­am­ple, when I want a quiet af­ter­noon and maybe take a lit­tle bit of a nap, the re­sult of this would be some­body say­ing, “Stay away from grandpa, he’s act­ing a lit­tle grumpy to­day.” The key to that is “act­ing.”

Some peo­ple are grumpy be­cause they are grumpy, but those of us who have reached a cer­tain level in life are grumpy be­cause we are act­ing grumpy and to act grumpy takes a great deal of thes­pian skill.

If some­one, and I will not men­tion the real name here, wants me to go shop­ping with her, all I need to do is put on the grumpy act. “Well,” she will say, “I guess you’re too grumpy to go shop­ping with me to­day!”

The per­son who has reached this level of A.G.E can turn it on when needed and turn it off when not needed. That is the “el­e­gance” part of this whole busi­ness.

When the grand­chil­dren are around mak­ing noise and ex­cite­ment, I do not have to act grumpy. When their par­ents, how­ever, come around that is the time when grumpy kicks in.

You have to know when to act grumpy and when not to act grumpy. That is the won­der­ful as­pect of get­ting to the age I am at right now.

I be­lieve Solomon un­der­stood this when he wrote, “The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head” (Proverbs 20:29).

One of the great priv­i­leges in life is to earn that “grey head.” More im­por­tant, to use that grey head in a pos­i­tive, af­fir­ma­tive fash­ion.

Dr. James L. Sny­der is pas­tor of the Fam­ily of God Fel­low­ship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Sil­ver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or email jamess­ny­der2@att.net. The church web­site is www. whatafel­low­ship.com.

STEVENSVILLE — Safe Har­bor Pres­by­te­rian Church will hold Va­ca­tion Bi­ble School from 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 7-11 for chil­dren age 5 through the fifth grade. The theme is “Up­ward Bound.”

Reg­is­ter on­line at www. safe­har­bor­pca.org or call 410-604-1700.

The church is lo­cated at 931 Love Point Road in Stevensville.

PRE­STON — Bethesda United Methodist Church in Pre­ston will host its 16th an­nual Peach Fes­ti­val from 9 to 2 p.m. Satur­day, Aug. 12, at the Pre­ston fire house, 3680 Chop­tank Road.

The event will fea­ture lo­cal peaches, ven­dors, crafters, ice cream, cob­bler and pie by the slice, bake ta­ble, soft crab sand­wiches, scrap­ple sand­wiches, hot dogs, burg­ers and Em-ing’s half chicken plat­ter with potato salad, beans an a roll for $9.

North Meets South, a duo from Sal­is­bury, will be per­form­ing a va­ri­ety of songs at the Peach Fes­ti­val. For more in­for­ma­tion, call 410943-1280. Pro­ceeds from the fes­ti­val sup­port the min­istry of Bethesda United Methodist Church, www.pre­ston­bethes­daumc.org.

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