Sunday, July 8, 2007

Gray Hairs in Church

I have to tell you a funny story.

Two weeks ago, at 8:58 a.m. Sunday morning when I was supposed to be walking on stage to sing, I was washing my hands in the ladies' restroom. As I washed my hands, I looked in the mirror and noticed some gray hairs.

Now, I have many gray hairs, and I tolerate them all right. But these particular hairs weren't intermingled with my regularly-colored hair. They were standing straight up on my head, hanging down on my forehead, pointing every direction they could to be noticeable.

I started pulling them out one by one. I said to the ladies with me, "Maybe I should just leave them alone. Isn't there a verse in the Bible that says gray hairs are a gift or something like that?"

None of us knew which verse it was, or if that was one of those sayings that people attribute to the Bible but it isn't actually scriptural (e.g., "God helps those who help themselves"). I threw the hairs in the garbage and headed out to help lead worship.

Imagine my surprise---and delight!---and laughter---when our discipleship pastor started preaching: "What does the Bible say about aging?"

I felt totally hugged by God.

I have been struggling lately: I said out loud last Tuesday, "I don't want to be old." But Nace didn't know that. He was just preaching what God had told him to preach weeks ago. I've heard other sermons about passing on a spiritual legacy, but I've never heard a sermon about what the Bible says about getting old. Nace had an interesting interpretation of Ecclesiastes 12. (You can hear Nace's sermon here.)

God said to me in those few moments, "Get over it, Candi. Growing old is part of My plan. If you'll stop kicking and screaming about it, the process will be a joy, not torture."

Of course, when Nace read Proverbs 16:31 ("Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life"), I wrote in my notes, "God says gray hair is cool." I thought, "Oh, no! I just threw my splendor in the garbage!" I can only hope that what they say is true: for every gray hair I pull out, two gray hairs will replace it.

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