Young at Heart
“Deep inside this wrecked and ravaged hull there sails a young man still.”
—Fredrick Buechner in Godric
I own a 1995 GMC truck. It’s worn-out, dented, battered and scratched and has more miles on it than its odometer has numbers. Some parts of it don’t work well; some non-essential parts don’t work at all, but I’m fond of it. I’ve owned it for 17 years or more. It’s mine.
It’s only mine, however. It isn’t me, (or I, as my grade school grammar teacher Miss Moody would insist). I never confuse myself with my truck.
So it is with my body. It’s worn-out, dented, battered and scratched. Some parts of it don’t work well and some non-essential parts don’t work at all. I’m rather fond of it, however. I’ve owned it for 80 years or more. It’s mine.
But my body isn’t me. I have a body and, thank God, I shall soon have one better, but I am not now my body nor shall I ever be; I am my soul, the immaterial, inextinguishable, thinking, reasoning, adventure–seeking, fun–loving “me” that has been joined to God’s family forever, begotten through Jesus Christ my Lord. I am an immortal child of God; I will never grow old and I will never die.
That’s why, when I look in the mirror and gape at this bundle of dry, withered sticks that I call my body, I can rightly say, "That isn’t me!” My true self is hale and hearty and will never grow old.
If anyone insists otherwise—for I do look old and decrepit—I shall answer, “Stuff and nonsense!” for, as George MacDonald argues, “Of all children, how can the children of God be old?"