I’m getting to the age where many of the “young” people refer to me as “old”. That’s OK with me, I really don’t care, I figure that the gray hair is a mark of the many adventures we have had in this life. The problem with getting older is that your body can no longer keep up with what your mind thinks it can do!
I’m much luckier than many people in this world, because even though I am “more mature” in age, I am also loved by those important to me. Now the reason I am thinking about this is because of a our family status just changed. You see, about 8 months ago our little “furry kid”, (our dog), who had been with us for almost 16 years died. After struggling with the decision we went to the local Animal Shelter and found a little dog and rescued her.
Now what makes her special is that she was picked up as a stray and no one came to claim her. She was scruffy or scraggly looking with matted hair and quite a bit undernourished (you can easily feel her bones through her skin). The Shelter staff estimate her age to be about 12 year old, which makes it harder to find folks who are willing to adopt her. She was in the “OAU” category (old and unwanted). You see everyone wants a cute little puppy, but an older dog with just a few years left is another story. The bottom line was that if the Shelter didn’t find someone to adopt her they would euthanize (or kill) her.
From the first time I saw her picture (scruffiness and all) I wanted her. I saw a scared little dog who didn’t understand what was happening and was completely at the mercy of people. Being older ourselves and having had two small dogs in the past who lived to be near 16 we understand somewhat the limitations of age. We wanted to love her and give her the best (last) years that we can. We called everyday until they put her up for adoption because we surely didn’t what the alternative to happen. That morning my wife was there when the doors opened, and now she is ours.
It seems that our society has also lost some very important values and one of them is honoring older folks. Our younger generation for the most part worships youth and rejects the concept that those who are older just might have something important to contribute, something as important as love and acceptance. Our “old dog,” is already finding her way into our hearts. She was so over joyed to come home with us that she runs around like a puppy and climbs in our laps and cuddles up and exudes love. My wife said it seemed a little strange that she should adapt so quickly. I replied, “maybe she knows the fate that awaited her before we came along,” probably not, but we knew and we acted because of that.
Now looking at the spiritual application a bunch of scripture comes to mind as it relates to this. The scriptures tell us, “While we were still sinners Christ died for us” and that “he was not willing that any of us should perish but all come to salvation”. You see, we may be older, we may be a bit scruffy looking too, but not to God. God understood the fate that awaits those, who like that little dog, lost and alone in a big world will suffer. He determined that he would go to any extreme to rescue us and he did. He died for us that we can live eternally in the arms of a loving master. Are you there yet?
Russ Lawson is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with his column Today’s Challenges. He is semi-retired and an elder at the Mid-County Church of Christ. He can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.