Give Me My Discount!
November 1, 2017
I will never forget the first time it happened. I was just in my early forties. I ordered a meal at a fast food restaurant for Melinda and me. When the server handed me my receipt, I noticed the price was slightly less than what I thought it would be. Then I saw why. She had given me the senior’s discount without asking me! She just assumed, I presume by the way I looked, that I was eligible. My hair started turning gray very early in my life, and people have always guessed me to be older than I am, but I must have been having a really bad day to get the 55+ discount in my early forties without being questioned!
I was so insulted that I took it.
Since that time, maybe I have and maybe I haven’t ordered from the senior’s menu to get a discount that I obviously appear to qualify for. What happens in Perkins, stays in Perkins.
But starting on Friday my friends, no more pretend deductions for me! No sir! I can now go into any eating establishment that has a senior’s menu and order my food at a reduced rate that I have earned simply by managing to stay alive for 55 years. I can say with pride, “Give me my discount!”
And to all of those snobbish seniors’ communities who have tried to keep me out over the years, look out! I may be headed to a modular home near you very soon!
Did you know the idea of a “Senior’s Discount” can be found in the Bible? I kid you not. This is from the Old Testament book of Leviticus, chapter 27: If anyone makes a special vow to dedicate persons to the Lord by giving equivalent value… (talking about a special kind of sacrifice that was offered), let the amount be set of a male between the ages of twenty and sixty at fifty shekels of silver… If it is a person sixty years or more, set the value at fifteen shekels. (Leviticus 27:1-2, 7) And thus the concept of a senior discount was born! I bet you didn’t know that, did you?
It really doesn’t bother me to age. At least it hasn’t so far! I like to poke fun at myself and others who are on the one-way journey of aging. Some of my favorite jokes are about getting older. Such as…
• Three retirees, each with hearing loss, were playing golf one March day. The first man says to the second man, “Windy today, isn’t it?” The second man said, “It’s Thursday.” The third man chimed in, “Me too. Let’s have a beer.”
• An elderly man and his wife were at the movies. The wife noticed that her husband was down on the floor. “What on earth are you doing?” she asked. “Looking for my gum,” he replied. “Looking for your gum on the floor?” “Yes,” he said, “my teeth are in it.”
• Someone sent me a list of some old popular songs with new lyrics to accommodate us aging baby-boomers:
Herman’s Hermits—“Mrs. Brown, you’ve got a lovely walker.”
The Bee Gees—“How can you mend a broken hip?”
The Beatles—“I get by with a little help from Depends.”
Johnny Nash—“I can’t see clearly now.”
Leslie Gore—“It’s my procedure and I’ll cry if I want to.”
Leo Sayer—“You make me feel like napping.”
Helen Reddy—“I am woman, hear me snore.”
Marvin Gaye—“I heard it through the Grape Nuts.”
Most of us laugh at aging even though we all realize that there are some not so funny parts. If you have aging parents, you know what I mean. My dad is 90 and my mom is 87, and things are getting more difficult for them day by deteriorating day. Thankfully, they are still in the house they’ve lived in for 42 years, but sometimes it’s a little overwhelming. Melinda’s mom turns 86 this month, and she is now residing in a nursing home. That has been a tough transition on every family member.
One of my beloved associate pastors in the church I served in Ohio used to say, “John, getting old isn’t for cowards.” He was more right than he knew.
I’ve reflected a lot this year about my life, the churches I’ve served, and how much of a good leadership run I’ve got left. I think I’ve got at least another really good 10 years in me, maybe even 15, and I anticipate them being the most fruitful and effective of my entire life. I think I have more now to offer than ever before, and I hope the Lord lets me keep on keeping on for a long time.
I heard a man named Leroy Lawson say that when he was younger, he used to preach the Bible by faith—because he hadn’t lived long enough to see how right the Scriptures were about life. But now that he was older, he could preach the Bible both by faith and testimony! He could say, I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken… (Psalms 37:25) After decades of being a fully devoted follower of Jesus he could say that from experience.
Some things we can only learn by living. And hopefully the Lord allows us to live long enough to learn what matters most.
An elderly lady in the church I served in Mississippi many years ago, gave me this poem. I certainly didn’t realize the full impact of it then, and probably don’t fully appreciate it even now, but I’m beginning to understand it better as I understand that I have less days in front of me than I have behind me.
Jesus loves me, this I know,
Though my hair is white as snow.
Though my sight is growing dim,
Still He bids me trust in him.
Though my steps are oh, so slow,
With my hand in his I’ll go.
On through life, let come what may,
He’ll be there to lead the way.
Though I am no longer young,
I have much which He’s begun.
Let me serve Christ with a smile,
Go with others the extra mile.
When the nights are dark and long,
In my heart He puts a song.
Telling me in words so clear,
“Have no fear, for I am near.”
When my work on earth is done,
And life’s victories have been won.
He will take me home above,
Then I’ll understand his love.
Loving the Legit-Senior’s-Discount Journey!