I understand that people have birthdays all the time. Once a year, like it or not, we all get to add another hashmark to the cumulative tally. Getting older is a routine, run-of-the-mill occurrence.
Getting to celebrate ninety-one, however, is worth a humdinger of a shoutout every time. We’re talking waking up 33,237 mornings in succession and successfully navigating another day. Fact is, the average man does not live beyond 80. That makes my dad exceptional – but of course, we already knew that.
One of the doctors we visited last week gave me some age-related data. “Such and such for a 40-year old,” he said. “Thus and so for a man who is 50… 60.” “These are the numbers for 70… 80…”
“There is no data for 90, is there?” I said.
“That’s right,” the doctor told me. “Not really a large enough sample size.” One more reason dad is special.
Just to put things in perspective; the year my dad was born:
- Penicillin was first discovered,
- Mickey Mouse made his first appearance in a Disney film,
- Adolph Hitler tried to tap into German disaffection by blaming immigrants and minorities (but it would take the coming Great Depression for him to make serious headway);
- The Okeechobee Hurricane completely devastated South Florida;
- Herbert Hoover was elected to preside over a booming economy;
- Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig stared in the World Series;
- Women were allowed to participate in Olympic track and field for the first time, and Johnny Weissmuller won two gold medals in swimming.
That’s just a sampling.
July 27 1928 may be a long time ago; but we all live life one day at a time and being ninety-one is – in that sense – not any different from any other age. Because the point, regardless, is to live each and every day in the knowledge and assurance that we are God’s dearly loved children.
If you have the privilege of being around David Maul then you already know what a beautiful impact following Jesus can have on a life – and the lives of those around him.
Grateful – always – DEREK