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Youth is far more than a state of mind

By: Tim W. Callaway

  |  Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2014 12:28 pm

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If youth be a defect, it is one that we outgrow only too soon. - James Russell Lowell

How difficult can it be? I found myself reasoning with my wife when she protested the news Id signed up to accompany our churchs youth to YC 14, a weekend gathering of thousands of teenagers held every spring in Edmonton. Her reservations about my judgment prompted me to avoid mentioning the events reputation as a leading cause of eardrum perforations, heart attacks and assorted stress-related maladies among Alberta seniors.

Reasoning it had been a decade or more since Id attended such an event, Id eagerly embraced the opportunity to assert my relative youthfulness. After all, age is just a state of mind, right? No sweat, I figured a three-hour bus ride there and back, sleeping on a gym floor with a bunch of rowdies, all the junk food you can eat, hoofing it around Rexall Place for a weekend - its all good!

Packing would be simple an iPhone, iPod, ball cap, a couple cases of Red Bull and four sticks of deodorant. Done! A colleague even offered me the use of a snazzy army cot for the event ha. See honey, this is going to be a snap. Or not.

The first indication of my advanced age settled on me five minutes into the bus trip. I learned nobody wanted me sitting with them because, well, lets just say they know Im a conversationalist and the only conversation most youth these days appear interested in is that which occurs via texting or emailing. Attempting to be somewhat contemporary, my suggestion we could chat via text if I sat in the front of the bus and they in the back received nothing but icy stares.

Now, Ive always considered myself an old hippie who loves rock n roll and can boogie with the best of em, baby! And I indeed gave it my best shot this past weekend. But when I can feel the throb of the bass beat emanating through the cement floor up my leg into the soft drink in my hand and even on up into the straw, I gain a whole new appreciation for why Beltone stocks are soaring.

And, yes honey, youre right, I cant survive on four hours of sleep even for a couple of daze anymore. Even the army cot couldnt lessen the assault of bouncing basketballs and giggling junior-high boys at 1 a.m.

So Ive been reminded that youth is far more than a state of mind. My spirit remains willing, but the old grey hair aint what he used to be!

Tim is pastor of Faith Community Church. He can be reached at


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