The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part.... —Job 42:12 (niv)
I was invited to give the homecoming address at an old country church where I had taught Sunday school many years before. Alas, it was discouraging when I saw how much my friends had aged. I hardly recognized them, nor did they know who I was. Even the building had deteriorated. The old wooden pew sagged deeply when I sat down in the back row, and I could see the same ancient piano on the stage, with crackled varnish and chipped keys.
“They need to tear this building down and build a new one,” I whispered to my wife, Sharon.
“Now, now, don’t be hasty. I love this old building. It still has much to offer.”
The service began with one of my former Sunday school students playing a medley of hymns. Mike is an award-winning high-school music teacher and the only one of us who has not visibly aged. Thirty years ago he was our substitute pianist, a beginner struggling to find the right keys. Mike played softly at first and then moved into a crescendo of hymns that made us swoon. I saw tears of pride in members’ eyes. When he was done, he received thunderous applause.
When, at last, I stood up to speak, I was flooded with emotions and began with an apology. “When I arrived this morning, I felt discouraged by how much we have all aged, but Mike has shown me that even older folks can still make music. We may be wrinkled and worn, but we still have something to say to the world.”
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