Play with the hand you’re dealt

December 6 2017 – Click here to listen

I had a buddy who joined the Navy during the Vietnam War. During training a defective hand grenade went off in his hand. Fortunately, the blast went away from his body and didn’t kill him, but he lost his hand in the process. This guy had been a football player, basketball star, and pitched on our baseball team. Now he had a nub where he once had a hand.

When he got out of the hospital we held a big welcome home party for him at a local pub. Everyone was in a tearful, somber mood except for one person – HIM! He was in a great mood and he seemed as full of life, mischievous, and playful as ever.

After he arrived, we got seated at our table and started getting reacquainted. I was talking with some people to my left when I happened to turn and look up at the waitress. Her mouth was hanging open and she looked astonished, as though she’d seen a ghost. She was staring at my buddy and I turned to see what was going on.

The mystery was revealed.

Before she’d arrived to take our order for some reason known only to him he’d inserted his handless wrist into his mouth and to any casual observer it looked like his entire hand was deep within his head! While I cannot adequately describe how odd this looked, I can tell you that it was absolutely hilarious.

This behavior was indicative of how he mourned the loss of his hand.

He didn’t!

He just took it in stride and played with the hand that he was dealt.

In today’s world people do most anything to try and change/improve their appearance; liposuction, tummy tucks, breast enhancements, nose jobs, face lifts, hair implants
and “rugs” for the bald, teeth enhancements, lip pouts, elevator shoes for the short, you name it.

I’m over all of that and am resigned to just accepting the way I am. I do try to eat right and exercise in order to remain healthy and avoid “porking” up, but I’m not going to try and modify my appearance in an attempt to look young or different.

I have to admit that when I first started turning gray, I tried dying my hair and eyebrows to hide it. I decided to dye it while I took a nice, long, hot, and relaxing bath. I’ve never been detail oriented and reading directions is something I despise. When I applied the dye I reasonably figured that it would take a good long while to work, so I just left the lathered up dye on my head and eyebrows as I relaxed in the tub and nearly fell asleep.

Finally, I rinsed it all out and when I rubbed the towel on my head to dry my hair I looked in the mirror. I was aghast! My hair had turned jet black as had my eyebrows. I looked like Burt Reynolds! I quickly tried to rewash it and remove the black, but it didn’t work, even a little. As I gazed in the mirror at my very black eyebrows and hair I felt like screaming.

How was I going to face the world?

I soon found out. My wife went into hysterics as soon as she saw me. I glowered at her, but it didn’t subside. The next morning it got much worse when I walked into work and my staff laughed hysterically for a good ten minutes. Tears streamed down their faces as they held one hand to their stomachs and used the other to point at my hair and eyebrows. One guy was laughing so hard that he actually sat on the floor. I went in my office and slammed my door. It took several very long weeks to return to normal and I can assure you that my hair and eyebrows have remained gray ever since.

The Bible calls gray hair a “crown of glory”; this because most who achieve that status of old age have achieved some degree of wisdom and should be respected. I can verify however that this is conditional, and not all old people are wise all of the time or even most of the time. Sometimes old people’s judgment is no better than their grandchildren’s or even far worse, and they do things that are outright stupid. I notice in the verse below that an “if” statement is attached to gray hair being a crown of glory; (“If it is found in the path to righteousness”).

Hmmm . . . I assume that God is content with how he designed us and if so, perhaps we should be as well . . .

Proverbs 16:31
The silver-haired head is a crown of glory,
if it is found in the way of righteousness.

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