A friend of mine recently posted a prayer request for her 74 year old father. He climbed a ladder to help a neighbor after a storm, fell, and hurt himself. His recovery is going well and hopefully get back on his feet soon.
The incident reminded me of a line from a Clint Eastwood movie, “A man needs to know his limitations.” There comes a time in every man’s life, he needs to let the younger generation take over the reins of being there for others. For me that began about ten years ago.
My back has given me problems since my early thirties. By my fifties, it would go out at a drop of a hat, literally. It was a hard pill to swallow but I had to start refusing to help people because of my back. It doesn’t seem more than a moment ago, I was the go-to person for any heavy lifting, pushing, or general hard work.
Then one day while helping someone lift something not heavy at all, my back went out. The pain shot down my back and through my legs. The anguish on my face said it all. The person rightfully chastised me for helping knowing my back could go out. But, it is what men do, they help where they can.
I slowly began to refuse to help with the knowledge of my back. It is aggravating and saddening to know time passed me by. But it happens to every man sooner or later. I watched young men moving things out of the church several years ago. They gathered several heavy items, grabbed them firmly, and hauled them to a truck parked out back. I wanted to help, but knew I couldn’t. I was happy to see the younger men using their ability while simultaneously feeling sad I no longer could be part of the team.
If you ever see an old man watching you work, he is probably admiring it and wishing he could join. He doesn’t dare try to help, because he knows he will only be in the way of the stronger, younger, and more energetic men.
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