Hi, I am Penny Lyon, singer and songwriter with the Christian band Out Of The Ashes, and welcome to God Today. I am going to talk to you today about growing old. The fact is, we cannot avoid it. I am going to ask you a little bit of a question: How many of you out there remember that when you were 15, you didn’t believe you would ever grow old?
My hand has to go straight up. And I remember somebody somewhere along the line saying, “You’re going to grow old too one day.” And me thinking, “Yea, and tomorrow morning I am going to wake up and I am probably going to be a panda bear.” Because, frankly, old was a completely different species to me.
And then I remember I got to 20. And 20 was pretty cool actually. And 25 was even cooler. And then I got to the big 3-0? Why do we start calling it the big something? Big 3-0, I got to. And I remember working out for the first time in my life, the numbers were going one way.
And then I got to 35, and 35 was alright. I had settled down and met the man of my dreams. And I got to the big 4-0, and somebody told me at the big 4-0 that I was middle-aged. We all know that’s a load of rubbish. We know that middle-aged probably happened when you’re about 70, at least that’s my story and I am sticking to it.
And then I remember getting to the big 5-0. Now, the way I coped with the big 5-0 was by telling myself that in 10 years’ time it was going to be the big 6-0. So I might as well enjoy the big 5-0 because the big 6-0, at the big 5-0 was going to look really young. I had worked this out by that time.
Then I remember at 54, standing in front of the bathroom mirror. And for the first time in my life, seeing gray hairs. Seeing lines on my face. And I certainly realized that now the numbers were only going one way. And this growing old thing was, if I was lucky, it was going to happen to me. Oh, here we go.
Now, at that stage, my mother was still alive, my mother was now 83. And she was hating life. She wasn’t a Christian, she was angry, she was resenting growing old, and she was just not enjoying herself at all. And I looked at my mum, and I didn’t want to go the way that my mum was going. And I stood in front of that bathroom mirror and I was scared. I don’t want to fool you. And then I felt God over my shoulder and He said, “You know what? I really like the lines on your face. I like your gray hairs.” He said, “They are a sign of coming wisdom. They are a sign that you have experienced more. And, actually, they are a sign you are getting closer to me.” And He was right.
As I grow older, I pray more, I listen to Him more, I have a little bit more wisdom to know when not to speak. Not a lot, but a bit. And actually, life is as full and as joyful as it ever was. And I am meeting more people who are older who are saying, “Life is great if you live it with Jesus Christ.”
So, with that in mind, I want to share with you a Bible verse. This is from Proverbs 16:31, “Gray hair is a crown of splendor, it is attained in the way of righteousness.” Because on that day in the bathroom God said to me, “Now you are ready for me to start doing something with you. You are ready for me to be able to use you.” And with that, Out Of The Ashes was born and we started going out into churches and to festivals and we produced a whole series of albums. And I realized that actually the older we are, the more and more God can do stuff with us. We are needed.
I would just like to pray with you now. Father God, you have such richness from the beginning of life to the end of life. Father God, we pray that we can put every minute into your hands. We pray for the joy that only comes from living in your company. Father, we pray for the wisdom to know that a prayerful life with you is worth it. And we pray for purpose because we know for each one of us, you have plans. And you have your purpose. Thank you, Father. Amen.