I was still a kid back in the 60s when the Beatles released their album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” One song on that album has recently become very personal to me – Paul McCartney’s “When I’m 64.” Assuming God lets me live a few more days, I will soon be turning 64.
I realize that that age may be in the rear-view mirror for lots of folks, but I’ve never turned 64 before, and in some ways, it’s quite a shock. I was just a kid when I first heard that song, and I couldn’t imagine how it would feel to actually BE that age. Turning 64 seemed so far away back then, and being that age seemed, you know, OLD!
Or so I thought at the time.
Looking back on the 50-plus years since the song’s release, I realize how far we have come as a society, and yet, how many things are still the same.
- We have landed on the moon but still face numerous problems here at home.
- We can get on the Internet, but often can’t find the specific information we need.
- We have lots of “friends” on social media, but few meaningful relationships.
- Most of us carry cell phones, but we still have a hard time with genuine communication.
- Medicine has perfected cures for many diseases, but we have been hit hard by new ones.
Still, in spite of these difficulties, I am not discouraged. Nowhere are we promised that life will be easy, or that we will somehow be exempt from difficulties.
The legend about the song is that it was one of the first ones that Paul ever wrote, and that he was only 16 when he first composed it, trying to imagine growing old with someone he loved. That is one thing that I really like about the song: it values personal relationships as being the key to a happy life. Consider these verses –
You’ll be older too,
And if you say the word,
I could stay with you.
I could be handy, mending a fuse,
When your lights have gone.
You can knit a sweater by the fireside –
Sunday mornings go for a ride.
Doing the garden, digging the weeds,
Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four.
Give me your answer, fill in a form,
Mine for evermore –
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I’m sixty-four.
God has blessed me with a wonderful wife, and we’ve had many great years together, and raised four terrific kids. He has given me some really great friends and allowed me to be a pastor and to work in several other fulfilling and interesting occupations, including this one. And above all that, He has shown Himself to be faithful at all times.
And so, as I approach my 64th birthday – and however many more God chooses to bless me with – I will say with the psalmist of old, “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever.”