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David Nelson: Life’s new beginnings

Taken from Rev. David Nelson’s notes for the “Faith, Life and Witness” moment at St. John’s Lutheran Church on Feb. 22. 


We anticipate the dawn of a new day with the promise of light, life, and the challenges for a new day.

It’s wonderful!

But the same day also has its sunset — which is equally beautiful — that gives us the promise of God’s grace through the night, and a hope for a new beginning in the morning.

So I say to everyone this day, “Good Morning.”

Today is a new beginning. How wonderful!

Last Tuesday (Feb. 17) I celebrated my 80th birthday. It’s hard to believe. Now I’m an “octogenarian.”

But, I have news for you. The first 80 years are the hardest.

The next future birth anniversaries, if you are blessed with them, are simply a succession of birthday parties.

Once you reach 80, everyone wants to help you carry things and open up doors for you.

If you forget their names, or an appointment, or make plans to be in three places at the same time, or can’t remember the ages of all of your own grandchildren, you need only explain that you are 80 years old.

Being 80 is a lot more fun and much better than being 70.

To be 70 something, people seem to get mad at you for everything.

Being 80, you have a perfect excuse no matter what you do.

All you have to say is, “I’m 80 years old” and you are given a “pass.”

In your 70s, if you act foolish they say, “It’s your second childhood.” (But they become suspicious that it might be some symptoms of demented behavior or possibly early signs of Alzheimer’s.) Being 70 is no fun at all.

At that age, people expect you to retire to an assisted living center and complain about your arthritis, aches and pains, and not being able to hear. (50% of those in their 70s have a significant hearing loss.) I’ve had hearing aids for five years.

If you survive until you are 80, many are surprised that you are still alive and active.

They treat you with respect just for having lived so long.

So please, folks, try to make it to 80. It’s the best time of life. People forgive you for anything,

If you ask me, life has a new beginning at 80 — it’s a new day.

I’m grateful to God that He has given me the blessing to begin again.

I don’t take this lightly or flippantly. My God what a gift!



Rev. Dr. David P. Nelson is Pastor for Care and Homebound Ministries at St. John’s Lutheran Church.


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