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Here’s how you know you’re getting old

At a conference in Pittsburgh last month, I got an elevator to come downstairs and looked at the guy in it with me.  I had a vague feeling I knew him, but no name came to mind, so I probed a bit.   “Were you a speaker here?” I asked.   “Not this time.  Hi, I’m Lanny Donoho…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

At a conference in Pittsburgh last month, I got an elevator to come downstairs and looked at the guy in it with me.  I had a vague feeling I knew him, but no name came to mind, so I probed a bit.
“Were you a speaker here?” I asked.
“Not this time.  Hi, I’m Lanny Donoho.” He stuck out his hand.
I clapped my hand to my head.  Lanny and I have known each other for about 17 years, mostly by email.  “Lanny, we’re a couple of idiots! I’m Seth Barnes!” I said.
Lanny is one of the most influential people in the country with 20-somethings.  He’s the guy we partnered with in Africa two years ago.
“How is your ministry going?” I asked.
“Unbelievable,” He said. “We took 300 to Africa last year and we’ll take 1000 this year!”

“We need to talk,” I said and got in my waiting car to the airport.
The sad thing is, as I get older, these kinds of incidents seem to happen more frequently. I suppose I could mark the passage of time with the frequency with which they happen.  I get it from my mother – she loves to tell stories of her forgetfulness.
Can any of you relate? How do you know you’re getting old?

Comments (13)

  • Ha! This is all too familiar! I was at a conference and came into the meeting alone, moved into a space in the centre of a row and decided to be friendly. I turned to the guy next to me and said hi, who are you and where are you from? He gave me a pained expression and said “the name’s Steve, I’m from the same church as you and we’ve had this conversation three times this week already!!” Thing is, I still looked at him and thought “no, I’ve never seen this guy before!!”

    45 next month……..just off to wander into another room and not recall at all why I went there……..

  • I used to be able to work 10-11 hr days, get 5-6 hrs of sleep, and still function okay. I don’t know if it’s the new job or me, but my ability to bounce back has definitely been less. And I haven’t even hit 40!

  • Hahahahaha!!! That is way too common. The only problem is, is that it is not Scriptural. We are supposed to have the mind of Christ! Soo… waz up with that?

  • You don’t think Jesus had his off days, Jen??? Anyway, He cheated – He didn’t live on the earth long enough to reach this stage!!

  • I went to thread a needle the other day and had to keep inching it farther away from my face because I couldn’t see it. When I was holding it out far enough to see it I caught a glance of myself in the mirrored doors. I looked like my mother. That was a pretty obvious sign! LOL

  • Your mother and I would definitely get along just fine!

    My latest story: Last week a mother of one of my students came up to me in the hall and said, “We talked about it at home, and Kiana would like to do that. When would be a good time – right after school some day?” We decided on a certain day after school. Trouble was, the entire time we were talking, I could not remember for the life of me what she was talking about, and I was too embarrassed to ask!

  • My 13 and 14 year old sons said to me recently: “You’re so lucky, you get to stay up as late as you want”.

    My answer made me realize I don’t want to use that “freedom”…..I told them “You’re the lucky ones, you get to go to bed early!”.

    Yup, definitely don’t have the energy and stamina I used to have. As my grandmother put it at the age of 91, “In my mind I feel 20, but my body isn’t cooperating!”

  • St.Mark of the Cross

    Well…my students all say that I look like a 35 year old, and my wife says I act like a 12 year old. As to forgetting things? Well, I don’t remember!

  • I am as of right now, 40 something years old. 40 something because I don’t keep track. The Lord said the average life of man would be 3 score and 10 years. With my calculator that averages about 70 years and the Lord also said that He would give us a long life if we walk in Him. With all of that ammunition I just don’t even keep count anymore. This has caused issues for me. It just seems down right dumb, not to know how old you are when people ask your age. What I usually do is to sincerly scratch my head and do the math right there in front of them. Sometimes my math is even wrong.

    Another issue that this has caused for me is that, I sort of figure that if it isn’t important in my life it must not be that important to others either. In this line of thought I don’t keep up with the age of my wife (Sheee Loovess Thaatt parttt) I don’t know how old my parent’s are. I don’t know how old her father is. I probably could not tell you what my kids birthdays are…except I might could, if I tried really hard.

    Well the thing is while thinking about this, just right now, I realized that our Lord only lived 33 years on this earth and everyone knows that He was 33 at the time that our sins put Him to death on the cross. But guess what? We don’t really know the date that He was born on. We celebrate Christmas on December 25 but that is not necessarily His birth date. I use those kinds of excuses you see when I can’t remember a birthday. I mean the Saviour of mankind, the Messiah, The King of Kings and all else, and we don’t know his Birthday. You sort of see where I am going, whatever your name was?…

  • You know you’ll old when you attempt to slip downstairs at night to raid the refrigerator. Your knees cracking seems to fill the room.

    Its the same going back upstairs, your knees crack more than the steps. I always have to smile at this one.

  • Too funny; ya’ll crack me up! I know i’m gettin older when I just have to get some natural color painted in my hair to hide the grey. I’m not one to fork over close to $100 easily every 3 months for color/cut – remember me, I’m the one who grew up on the “mission field” and was told to limit TP usage to 2 squares for peepee wipin – for us female types that is! Unfortunately I don’t have my mother’s ability to keep her natural color into her 60’s – I wish! Another – when I go to the Fair and get the lines in my hand read for them to guess my age and I know that my youthful demeanor and girlish face could easily be mistaken for 18, especially if I’m hangin’ with my 7 yr old “mini-me” who could pose as my little sis – BUT those lines and creases that have formed in my mother-worn hands give me away – oh boy, there’s no more foolin’
    To Jen and Seth i say, Jesus helps us remember the truly important things and the rest doesn’t matter so much, so don’t fret. I’m plenty scatter-brained these mid-life days, but I see over and over God bringing to mind those things that count – yahoo! Remember Eccl 3.1 says “to everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven…” I’m glad he can redeem our forgetfullness when it could serve his greater purposes ;O)
    To Carol C, I’d say, that Steve guy has his eye on you! 🙂

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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