Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Jobs for the Old

My sweet old dog with the compressed nerve is doing well on the nerve medicine. She almost never limps anymore, though she is not as eager to get up and go as she used to be. She likes to sit, or lie down and just watch the world. Her days of wild romping are over, but she seems content with the legacy she left - a wall full of agility ribbons and a family of her own that loves her despite her homeless and abusive beginnings. She has earned a little rest. Nonetheless, when I get up and move to a different room, she usually still follows. She will not easily relinquish her job of protecting the people who love her.

The cute old car we had loaned my son while he was at college was returned when he bought his new flashy car. It came home still eager to be used, but with a broken AC, and lighter socket that doesn't work. Since I need that to plug in my GPS, we will need both things fixed. The old car had served well. The faithful Honda Civic had weathered 2 teen boys learning to drive a manual shift car. It had then been Matt's car for 7 years, and I think it is possible, it had not been cleaned in all that time. Matt is a wonderful person and son but has never been accused of being too neat. Karissa, his delightful wife, cleaned out all the debris before they had to dash back home to studying for the law school Bar exam and editing law papers.

So I brought the old car in to the mechanic.
"I apologize for the unkempt condition of the car," I said as I dropped off the key and instructions, "But it belonged to my college son."
"Say no more," laughed the mechanic.
"It's a 96 Honda civic," I told him, proud of having memorized what I knew they would ask me. (I am not at all a car person. I wouldn't recognize more than one or two car models if a gun were put to my head.)
"Engine type?" he asked me.
"You're kidding, right?" I said, "The car is green. That is the extent of my knowledge."
"We'll take care of it," he smiled.

The old car has one more job. It still has to teach our beloved daughter Asherel to drive a stick shift. If possible, it would be nice if it could accompany her to college. I plan to wash and vacuum it thoroughly today, polish its dashboard, clean its windows. It is old, but as I saw its cute, faithful, cheery lime-green body in our driveway again, it made me happy. It was like a family member returning home.

There is so much excitement and anticipation in new things, but I have become more and more appreciative of old things lately. Perhaps as I become old, that just reflects narcissism. But God loves old things too. He used old people to accomplish many of His purposes, Moses was an old man when he led the Israelites out of Egypt, Joshua was 85 years old one when he fought for the land across the Jordan. Sarah was well past child bearing years when she gave birth to Isaac, the forefather of many nations and child of God's promise to Abraham. Old age is honored and revered by God, and most remarkably, still of great use!

The nerve medicine won't restore youth to my old dog, though it should keep her comfortable. The thorough cleaning and new AC won't make the old car young again. But there is something almost of expectation in both of them, as though they are hopeful for renewal in the jobs that remain for them. Honeybun knows that if she didn't follow me into my room each night and curl up nearby, I would not be safe. And I bet the old car knows that one more young driver is about to wrench and grind the old clutch, and stutter her way slowly to proficiency. I bet the old car can't wait, eager to embrace and teach this new generation.

For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone. Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come. (Psalm 71:5, 9, 17, 18 NIV)

-save a dog- hollowcreekfarm.org

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