My First Senior Moment


It didn’t flow, nor did it come easily but I said it, “Two senior diet coke’s please!” That’s the order I gave several years ago at the local McDonald’s on my way to work with my wife.   You see, at McDonald’s, you are “entitled” to a “senior” discount when you turn 55 and that morning I was celebrating my  fifty-fifth birthday. I guess I technically should have waited till 12:57pm later that day, the time of my birth, but there was no sense in trying to hold onto my youth.

I have to admit it, I’m now seen as a senior citizen by some people and in the eyes of many corporations.  I’ve joined the millions of other seniors who I see eating breakfast at the local smorgasbord. I’ve always been amused by my “senior” clients who come in and tell me how they love eating at such and such restaurants because it is “all you can eat” for seniors. “All you can eat!”, I think to myself.  Seniors don’t even eat “normal” portions of meals,  let alone the need to eat “all and more.”  I think it is the thought of getting a deal that drives seniors, of which I am now one, to the these types of restaurants.   It certainly can’t be the quality.  Perhaps your taste buds change over time. I know as a kid I hated vegetables and now I like them. Who knows, maybe down the road I will begin to like the local smorgasbord.

Well, the good thing about reaching fifty-five is that I reached fifty-five and now more. Sometimes I look in the mirror and I don’t recognize who is staring back at me, but at least I’m still seeing my reflection! It seems every physical thing about me is changing for the worse, except…with the years has come perspective…and a bit of wisdom. And for me that “wisdom” has come through life’s experiences. And my life’s experiences has given me solid reason to believe that everything I was taught as a youth, regarding the gospel of Jesus Christ, is true. I have learned that, when I follow the standards as set forth in scripture and by living prophets, my life goes smoother. I also know that when I “kick against the pricks,” as Saul did, my life becomes hard.  (Acts 9:5).

Saul’s life experiences changed him and he became Paul, the greatest missionary to ever live. An interesting point about the story of the Savior appearing to Paul on his journey to Damascus was, after Paul was struck down by the Lord, he is quoted as saying “What wilt thou have me do?” (vs 6). Jesus could have told him right then what he wanted, but he didn’t. He responded back to Paul, “Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do”(vs.6) Paul obeyed and ended up being taught and baptized by the Disciples. So, although Paul had a vision, he was commanded to go and be taught by the Disciples, or the prophets of his day. There is a subtle message in that story.  And that message to me is that the Lord has confidence in his leaders and that we should listen to them. The Savior endorses them. They will lead us back to His kingdom and presence.

I (semi) rejoice in becoming an official senior citizen, but I mostly rejoice in gaining the knowledge that the foundation of my life is built upon truth. That truth is that Jesus is the Christ and that I can benefit from all of His teachings  if I will obey. If I choose not to obey, I miss out on the blessings that come from obedience to the commandments of God.

Like my new senior discount, I can choose to use it and be blessed by it, or be embarrassed of it, and lose the benefit it offers me. It’s my choice.

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