The Older I Get

July 09, 2014

Reblogged from: Midweek Manna

Mandy and I just celebrated our 27th year in matrimony. It just doesn’t seem like it has been that long. Now don’t get me wrong! We have had our ups and downs. Marriage at its best is that way. It just doesn’t seem like we are old enough to have been married 27 years. It is time that is passing—maybe too quickly.

This week I will celebrate my 58th year on this planet earth. It has made me think about how time has passed. My high school class of 1974 will celebrate its 40th reunion year this fall. The first Sunday August I will have been preaching for 39 years. I was 19 when I showed up at White Hall and Colquitt UMC as their new preacher. I had braces on my teeth. I even looked young!

Does it seem that time passes too quickly? There are some things I would do differently if I had some mulligans in life. For non-golfers, a mulligan is a “do over” in golf. It is a second chance. Professional golfers do not get mulligans. Duffers buy as many mulligans as they can! Maybe you can identify with some of these mulligans.

I would count more and very slowly.

You have heard the wisdom of counting to ten before you say or do something in response to others. I would count to about a hundred and do it slowly. So many times, I reacted instead of responded. As I have grown older, I have come to understand my friend’s advice, “Wait three days”. Waiting gives us a different perspective. In most cases, an immediate response is not as necessary as we think it is. Silence and waiting to respond can be your friend.

I would plan more and work less.

Do not think that I am suggesting a lesser work ethic. But what I have found is that when I plan my work, I work less. When I prepare myself, it doesn’t take as much time or energy. There are times in my life that I have confused longevity of work with effectiveness of work. I thought if I just worked longer, the job would be done. If I worked longer, people would like me and approve of me. I was wrong. People who are going to like and approve of me do not require me to be a martyr. In fact the last thing they want is this.

I would bless more!

A few years back, I am not sure when it happened, I began to say to as many people as I could—“Have a Blessed Day!” It is interesting to hear and see the responses to this statement. People in this world need to receive a blessing. We all seek a blessing at one level or another.

Imagine that you were to receive $86,400 a day. Now the problem in receiving this daily is that you have to spend it all! Some of you are saying, “I could do it, no problem!” But then imagine that you have to spend all of this every day for every day in your life! Just think of all the good you could do! Think of all the problems you could solve! The truth is that you get this every day of your life. The value is not in money though. It is an even greater value---seconds. It is your time on this earth.

I do not know how long I will live. But my prayer is that I live every second to its fullest.

Pray for me as I pray for you.

In the Master’s Name,


Dr. M. Jack O’Dell