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I can't wait to see what the future holds

The grouchy old man wanted to die. "Why doesn't the Lord take me?" he asked. "I am tired and I want to die."

His minister replied, "Well, there must be something yet in life the Lord wants you to do."

"Huh!" he retorted. "Well, I ain't a gonna do it!"

I understand his frustration, but my attitude is the opposite. If the Lord calls me home, I'm tempted to say, "Well, I ain't a gonna come!"

Good luck with that. But I can try.

The Apostle Paul said he had a desire to depart from this life and be with the Lord. I'd prefer that the Lord continues to be with me in this one. I want to be around to see what happens next.

Will Obama be re-elected in 2012? Who will become president in 2016? Will Hillary Clinton run and become the first woman president? I want to be here to find out.

I have two sons who aren't married, and I want to see who they wed. My oldest grandson married about a year ago; my first great-grandchild may come along in the next few years. I want to know that child.

It seems incredible to me that out of millions of planets, there would not be intelligent life somewhere out there. Will someone like ET come to visit someday? I'd like to be on the welcoming committee.

Computers get more sophisticated every year. I imagine life-size 3-D videos and images you can't distinguish from real people. I don't want to miss that.

When my father was a child, there were no automobiles. I'm sure he never would have dreamed of space travel. When I was a child, there were no televisions. My kids can't imagine life before TV. I've become somewhat acquainted with computers. But what's next? What is around the corner that I can't even imagine? I'd like to know.

Heaven may be beautiful, but this planet is pretty good. There are so many places on this earth I haven't seen yet. I'd just as soon see more of them before trying out another place.

Now maybe if my equipment all starts to fail, I may get to the point of saying, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit." But I'm not there yet. Even then, I might be more likely to ask, "Is there a fountain of youth somewhere?"

In the Bible, Psalm 90:10 says: "The length of our days is seventy years -- or 80, if we have the strength "

I'm already 76. Of course many people live to 100 these days. But even that would give me only 24 more years. I need more time here. A lot more time!

I have one grandson whose birthday is the same as mine. When I turn 77, he will become 17. I told him that I'd make a great deal with him. I don't have to go to school, and I get a Social Security check every month without working. So how about if we swap ages? Incredibly, he turned me down. I'll have to keep looking for that fountain of youth, I guess.

Tennessee Ernie Ford sang:

"St. Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go.

I owe my soul to the company store."

I'd rather sing:

"St. Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go.

There's too much to do down here below!"

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Charles Lamb, who lives in Youngstown, is a retired minister serving at First Presbyterian Church of Youngstown.

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