I’ve been thinking lately how profound Willie Mays was with this quote: “Growing old is just a helpless hurt.” Mays finished the last year and a half of his career with the Mets a shadow of his former self. He was a .211 hitter in New York and a struggling fielder. He retired in 1973, at the age of 42, the oldest position player in baseball and the oldest position player ever in a World Series.
Growing old is just a helpless hurt. Life’s a cruel teacher. It’s gives the test before giving the lesson. We learn more from our mistakes than our successes. How often we fail from ignorance, and yet we think we’re entitled to know better. We spend our lives striving to improve, to achieve, only to hold the moment in a brief pause of time and then watch it slip helplessly from our grasp as mortal life reminds us nothing is truly ours to keep.
Growing old is just a helpless hurt. Growing old is a submission. Submission has but one purpose, and although it can be learned in a variety of ways, aging is the inextricable reminder of our own futility without a superintending God. Abraham was 100 years old when his child of promise, Issac, was finally born. If that event had happened at an earlier time perhaps Abraham might not have believed as he did. Jesus was only an estimated 33 years when He was crucified, but then His was already a life of submission. He was destined for the cross. And if we are to follow Christ perhaps that is the lesson to be learned. Some submission is painful, a helpless hurt, and some not so. The choice is ours. Happy birthday to me.