Monday, July 11, 2016

"That was where my dream began to take hold, of not havin' to pick cotton and potatoes, and not havin' to be uncomfortable, too hot or too cold. That in itself had driven me to try to find some better way of life." ~ Buck Owens, the late iconic country singer

Another new week has dawned and we open up today's envelope and it reads, back to work Monday, July 11, 2016. The other day I was out in the heat alert warning world for a couple of hours. My little project did require some moderate exertion. It was illuminating. Not just the sunlight which was plenty hot. As I near that big 7-0 (three score and ten), I'm not as able to handle the heat as I could when that number was much smaller. I didn't feel faint or anything like that but I did notice when I got home that I was more depleted than normal. The final insult came the next morning when I actually missed my internal wake up call by one hour. Are you kidding me? This caused me to think of a term I heard often growing up, "Too old to cut the mustard." I think we all understood what was being implied by that phrase but I doubt seriously that any of us had any idea what failure or weakness had to do with mustard. One of the etymology sounding boards had this as a possible stab at the origin of this little ditty: "There has been an association between the heat and piquancy of mustard and the zest and energy of people's behaviour. This dates back to at least 1672, when the term 'as keen as mustard' is first recorded. 'Up to mustard' or just 'mustard' means up to standard in the same way as 'up to snuff'." Sorry about the spelling on behavior, but, think about it, most of our English idioms came, in one way or another, from across the pond. The 'cut the mustard' as an illustration of prowess has been found in print here in our country in a newspaper in Iowa from 1872. Let me summarize and also connect it to my own little story. Mustard is hot and zesty. My little run in with that "lucky old sun ain't got nothing to do But roll around heaven all day" proved that I no longer measure up to the hot and zesty mustard definition. (The lucky old sun mention comes from lyrics written by Beasley Smith in a song made popular by Willie Nelson and others.)

Okay. That should be enough 'confession is good for what ails you' for one day. I didn't even mention all the contributing factors. No shade. 100 plus degrees. I suppose the good news is that I now have my annual requirement of Vitamin D. Just joking. I can remember back when I was a kid in the summertime we could hang out from dawn to dark at the swimming hole and while we were tired at the end of the day, I can't remember ever even giving it a thought. Those were the days my friend, those were the days. Some think our societal lamenting of old age has a lot to do with conditioning. Just look at the way in which youth is emphasized on TV and in about every other form of presentation. I understand the demographic connotation of advertisers focusing on their most potentially winnable target, that being the 18 to 30 year olds. If you end up watching anything more geared to older people, well, all you see is aches, pains, and every kind of remedy known to humanity. No wonder we sometimes have a negative view of aging. It's like we all are trapped in that commercial, "I've fallen and I can't get up." It might be good to remember that God doesn't see it that way. He recognizes the wisdom and knowledge of those wearing white hair and He calls for them to be honored instead of being put down. I think I've said enough about that subject. Or, at least as much as my aching old fingers can get from my failing gray cells to the keyboard and from there to the electronic page. Or something like that.

Never get the idea that I am actually complaining. I know very well that every heartbeat is a gift from God. As a diabetic, I also understand that God has blessed our generation with knowledge resulting in treatments that can help. I hear all the time that living is better than the alternative. That's not exactly the right way for us as believers to see it. When we develop a mindset of anticipation of that day when we experience first hand the words of our Savior, "that where I am, you may be also" and we think about all that will mean, well, it then gives us the right perspective for each day He grants us to continue our sojourn here. (John 14) What do I mean by that? I mean that if we see ourselves in His plan and purpose, then, every day we continue to be here is a part of what He is accomplishing and we are privileged with another opportunity to fulfill that which He has for us to do. We don't dread leaving, we embrace living, but, we do so with faith and knowledge. I must have needed to have been reminded of this because some days I feel like I'm not focusing so much on what He would have me to do. Can I get a witness? Yes. Amen. That should give us all at least something to think about for the rest of Monday. Lord willing, we will see what hits the page come tomorrow morning. I'm waiting too. May God bless each one. Amen. ....More later.

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