Out to Pastor 07-22-2011

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A farewell to the 50s

By Rev. James Snyder

Whoever said, “All good things must come to an end,” knew whereof he spoke. Why is it that something really good goes by so quickly and something really bad hangs around forever, or so it seems?

Let me explain a little bit of what I mean.

When the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage, over my vociferous objections, cooks broccoli, the smell stays in the air for months. However, the invigorating aroma of an Apple fritter dissipates in a matter of moments. Except, of course, when I’m trying to eat one behind you know who’s back and she can smell it five days before I eat it.

“I don’t smell an Apple fritter, do I?” she inquires.

“You’re not eating an apple fritter?” she prods.

“There better not be any apple fritters in this house,” she demands.

My philosophy is simply this, what she can’t smell can’t hurt me. The only problem is, she can smell, and usually it’s a rat, namely me.

However, if I would pontificate 1/10 of the time about the smell of broccoli in the house I would not have to worry about smelling broccoli in the house. If you know what I mean.

But if it is good, it seems to go by so very quickly. This past week something very good came to a very conclusive end. Through no effort of my own, I concluded the fifth decade of my life. I am just glad that at the conclusion of this decade I was around to see it. What I remember about the 50s is another matter altogether.

As part of the baby boomer generation, another birthday boomed for me. This boom was a very significant one. I have bidden a fond farewell to my 50s. Ah, what a decade that was. It is a very good thing that the 50s come between the 40s and the 60s. Whoever devised this scenario knew something about human nature.

When you are in your 40s, you, for some unknown reason, think you are still in your 20s. Many people in their 40s have bought into the notion that the 40s is the new 20s. Henceforth, most people, usually men, treat their body as if it was a 25-year-old man in perfect health. Now, a 45-year-old body does not have the wisdom to realize that it is no longer 25. And so you have men in their 40s running and jumping and doing things that their body thinks it can do but it really can’t.

A body in the 40s is not mature enough for pain to register. In fact, no man in his 40s would acknowledge the fact that he has the pain. His wife, contrariwise, acknowledges the pain in her life. But that’s another story.

Once a man gets into his 50s, he has matured enough to the fact that he knows there are many things he physically cannot do. He knows, for instance, a 50-something body is not like a 20-something body, therefore, he can begin slacking off on the physical stuff. Although, some 50-something men have not matured enough to understand the significance of the fifth decade.

But in spite of all of that, the 60s have been a wonderful time for me. It is during the 50-something the man accomplishes most of his work. During his 40s, he is trying to pretend he is still in his 20s, but by the time he hits that magic 50, he is more interested in accomplishing things in his career. Work is very important at this phase of life.

And work he does, because at this stage he has a mortgage, a family and bills coming out both his back pockets faster than it goes in. If he has children, he enters the 50s with several teenagers in the house and maybe some grandchildren. This is enough to drive any man to work, if not crazy. For any man to conclude the fifth decade without permanent residence in the Looney farm is quite an accomplishment.

By the mid-50s, things begin to become all quiet on the Western front. Many people refer to this as the empty nest syndrome. All I can say is, hallelujah for the empty nest syndrome. I just hope some doctor does not come up with a cure for this empty nest syndrome.

The empty nest syndrome is God’s way of saying thank you for bringing up your family. Now, the house is all quiet and when I go to the refrigerator, there is actually something in the refrigerator. Sometimes I just open the refrigerator door and stare at the contents. It is wonderful to go to the refrigerator and actually find something in it you can eat.

It has been a little difficult for me to say farewell to the 50s. I have enjoyed every year of that decade. I am not prepared to say that I am any wiser but I am prepared to say I am older. And my goal in life is to get older and older. Because, when you stop getting older it is all over.

The Bible gives him instructions about getting older.

”The glory of young men is their strength: and the beauty of old men is the grey head” (Proverbs 20:29 KJV).

”The hoary [grey] head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness” (Proverbs 16:31 KJV).

I bid a fond farewell to the 50s. Thanks for the memories.

The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail jamessnyder2@att.net. The church website is www.whatafellowship.com.