As I write this, a party wraps up at a restaurant down the street from the church I attend. The good feelings, I am sure, will linger long past this day. We have reason to celebrate. A friend we all love and admire reaches a milestone. Our longtime church organist turns 100 today.
I know next to nothing about being an organist, and even less about turning 100. But I know an inspiring example when I see one. And our organist, Adrienne, is one very inspiring example. One very vibrant lady. One kind and caring Christian. One alert and quick- witted conversationalist. And, yes, one very good organist. She's been keeping us up to speed on our hymns and coaxing us back on key since Sinatra was a kid. Or at least it seems that long.
As I sit in church this morning, my eyes drift over to watch her play as she accompanies a soloist â€“ she's helped enough of them to fill a choir â€“ and I notice a small detail I've missed over the years. She is not wearing glasses. One further proof of limitations put off, freedom claimed, victory maintained.
She's doing something she clearly loves. Something that not only must lift her but lifts the rest of us as well, making our days a bit more on key, a bit more in rhythm.
Because I know Adrienne only slightly â€“ she is unfailingly gracious to everyone who crosses her path â€“ I can only guess at what discords and hardships she may have faced and faced down over the past 100 years. But those don't come across when you speak with her. A quiet harmony is what comes across.
I remember part of a Bible passage, so I seek it out in full. "If iniquity be in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles. For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not fear: because thou shalt forget thy misery, and remember it as waters that pass away: and thine age shall be clearer than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning" (Job 11:14-17).
"Thine age shall be clearer than the noonday." Suddenly this seems less a question of genetics and more a question of what's going on in one's thought. Can I do a better job of rejecting wicked or iniquitous thoughts? Yes. Can I be more steadfast and less fearful? Yes, again. More forgetful, not of good times but of past misery? And yes, yet again. These are practical steps the Bible spells out, prayerful moves I can make to help this promise of noonday clarity come forward in my own life.
A spiritual fact I've glimpsed in the Scriptures tells me that each of us is, in truth, the timeless, ageless reflection of an ageless God. I know He doesn't grow old, become restricted, or useless. So, how could His likeness? That's not a possibility, not from God's point of view. And I increasingly yearn to have my point of view come into alignment with His. As that happens, I know I'll glimpse more, and prove more of the always fresh and vibrant nature that God installed in each of us when He created us.
Monitor founder Mary Baker Eddy once wrote in her primary work, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "Life is eternal. We should find this out, and begin the demonstration thereof. Life and goodness are immortal. Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight" (p. 246).
It's a command and a promise so inviting, so challenging, so rewarding that I can scarcely wait to start shaping and reshaping my views. Again. For the better. Because that's what an ageless God has empowered me, His ageless reflection, to do.
They that wait upon the Lord
shall renew their strength.