TITLE: The Proper Time
DATE: November 24, 2018
TEXT: Psalm 90:12 (ESV) - 12 So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
For years Doris Mary Kappelhoff told people that she was born on April 3, 1924.
Surprise, surprise Doris Mary Kappelhoff was not born on April 3, 1924. That’s what the reporters of the Associated Press managed to glean at Ohio’s Office of Vital Statistics. No, they found out Doris Mary Kappelhoff came into this world on April 3, 1922.
Doris Day, whose real name is Doris Mary Kappelhoff, wasn’t upset to find out she’s actually 96. ”Age’, she says, “… is just a number and I have never paid much attention to birthdays, but it’s great to finally know how old I really am!”
In contrast to Doris we have Emile Ratelband who lives in the Netherlands. Emile knows exactly how old he is.
He has always known his birthday was March 11, 1949. The only problem is, Emile doesn’t want to be 69-years-old. Emile feels that being 69 causes him problems. For example, on dating sites nobody wants to look at, or go out with someone who is almost 70.
But it gets worse.
Emile says employers don’t want to hire someone who has reached that level of chronological seniority and loan companies aren’t exactly lining up to give him money to buy new cars or places in which to live.
All-in-all, Emile doesn’t like getting old.
Which is why he has petitioned a Netherland’s court to make him young again. Yup, you heard that right. Emile wants the court to make him young; well, actually, “younger.”
More specifically he wants the court to make him 20-years younger. This they can do by changing his birth date from March 11, 1949 to March 11, 1969. In support of his petition, Emile says, “We live in a time when you can change your name and change your gender. Why can't I decide my own age?"
One of the judges wanted to know what should happen with the two decades Emile wants to jettison. His honor asked, “Who were your parents looking after then (from 1949 to 1969)? Who was that little boy?"
Now since I am just a little older than Emile, I am forced to confess I can sympathize with his frustration. Even so, I think his action would be opening up a scenario in which children could be younger than their parents and 18-year-olders would be claiming Social Security.
Far better for Emile, and all of us, to ask the Lord to teach us to number our days and grant us a heart which can always appreciate the salvation the Christ has won upon the cross AND the specific and ever-changing, age-appropriate graces which the Lord continues to bestow for our present ages and current times.
Perhaps the writer of Ecclesiastes said it best when he penned (Eccl 3: 1,13): There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:… He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord through Jesus’ gifts and the Spirit’s power may I be granted contentment and peace. In Jesus I ask it. Amen.
The above devotion was inspired by a number of sources, including one written by the BBC on November 8, 2018 . Those who wish to reference that article may do so at the following link, which was fully functional at the time this devotion was written: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-46133262
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann, one of my long-ago confirmands. He is singing with three brothers. This song comes from the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html