Well, it’s actually happened. I’ve turned yet another corner in parenthood.
Here in our small Midwest town we are superiorly blessed to have, not one, but several very nice second-hand shops. I’m a true re-purposed human being, (even my dog is a rescue), so my children were likewise brought up in this frugal practice.
Recently, my eldest called from the West coast, where prices are not q-u-i-t-e as judicious has here at home, and wondered if I could look for a few things, including jeans. But not just any style. She was specifically requesting—are you ready?? (I just so love this!)—“MOM” jeans. Yes! High-waisted, the kind I used be to chided for a decade or two ago.
“Mom, you’re supposed to wear trousers below the belly button!”
“Why? That’s where you’re made to bend!”
Evidently, London and New York City have degreed that these jeans are now back in style. I am vindicated, not that I care, mind you. From my vantage point in life, this is not the only concession I have made; elastic has also become a dear companion. I gave up contacts for glasses years ago, and any money that could be spent on anti-wrinkle cream goes instead for gardening or grandchildren. All this without blinking an eye.
(Yes, Mom, I learned well from you! Thank you.)
I find it humorously unfortunate, however, that each generation seems to have to re-learn some of the same lessons when it would be clearly more efficient to just get it from our forebears.
In our seemingly sophisticated first-world culture of the past, say, 75-years or so, as multi-generational families no longer lived together due to various reasons (Bob and I live two states away from our families, and our own children are thrown around the globe), it’s become easier for the younger to miss important lessons, and for the elder to feel…finished.
I guess before I criticize my own world so harshly, I should realize this is not a unique challenge:
“Cast me not off nor send me away in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent and my powers fail.”
“O God, You have taught me from my youth, and hitherto have I declared Your wondrous works Yes, even when I am old and gray-headed, O God, forsake me not, but keep me alive until I have declared Your mighty strength to this generation, and Your might and power to all that are to come.”
Some think this elderly saint was King David, some reckon it was the prophet Jeremiah, both of whom had had pretty remarkable lives with the Almighty. As I read the whole song in context, I hear this fear of abandonment despite their relational history, almost like God is going to discard him since he can’t do the things he used to do.
“…for He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down (relax My hold on you)! Assuredly not!”
I love how the Amplified translation brings out the emphatic nature of God’s heart in the original text. An example is the fact that “I will not” is stated three times, akin to Jesus’ “verily, verily”, which means, “hey, gang, pin this on your forehead.”
A good father does not abandon his children, and we have a good, good Father. Knowing that I am held firmly in His hands at whatever stage of life I find myself, frees me to focus more clearly and creatively on the purpose He puts in my path for this moment, this day. As Pastor Jim Stockdale has said, “if you can draw breath, you can draw a sword.”
And, of course, our sword is the everlasting Word of God. Tucked securely into some comfortable elastic mom-jeans.