“He’s not young, not old. He’s just a dad!”
They were a group of college kids eating at the table next to us in the restaurant. The four of us on our table laughed at the remark. We had no idea what it meant. Was it a positive or negative statement? Are fathers in a separate ageless category? Unable to arrive at a reasonable explanation, I thought of my own father. When I was growing up, I had a fixed image of him and a photograph of my father playing golf encapsulated this. He was probably in his forties, younger than I am today. His hair was still black and his muscular legs and arms were toned and tanned from the Hawaiian sun. I remember this man, not young or old, just my dad.
After I moved away from Hawaii and settled in Southern California, I would see my father once every 2 or 3 years. This was a time before we were able to do video conferencing on our phones and computers. During this time, my father dramatically aged.
I don’t know what was the intent of the phrase but this was my interpretation and it gave me pause and some regret. What happened to my father is happening to me as well. Perhaps my children and their friends are thinking the same thing? Will they soon realize that I am no longer just a dad, but another old guy?
Our lives last seventy years or, if we are strong, eighty years. Even the best of them are struggle and sorrow; indeed, they pass quickly and we fly away. Who understands the power of your anger? Your wrath matches the fear that is due you. Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.
Psalms 90:10-12 (CSB)
God’s Word is always prescient. Although this verse was written thousands of years ago, the average lifespan of a man in 2021 is about 73 years. My own father passed away at 82 years. I am faced with the stark reality that I probably have about 20 years left on this earth.
I’m just a dad!
God is teaching me to number my days and by His grace and mercy, with my remaining years, I pray that I will be able to pass along the lessons I have learned from God to my own children.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.