During my recent mission trip with 12 high school students who are all young, sharp, talented, skillful in ministry, and did I mention young. I would kid with them by flexing a bit and saying “watch out, I’m old man strong.” They would laugh, and ooh and ahh, as they humored the “old man.”
I used the phrase repeatedly throughout the trip. I sorta became attached to the sound of my little saying. Though I was just kidding at first, I began to think, what is old man strong?
Old man strong is knowing when to use muscle and when to use leverage. As a young man I used to try to impress my wife by opening the pickle jar as a feat of strength. Now, I run hot water over it and immediately grab the jar opener tool out of the drawer. Am I using my strength, yes but with much greater leverage. Old man strong.
A couple of weeks ago, I was struggling to find a place for our mission team to spend the night on the way home. Instead of cold calling church after church in a town where I knew very few people, I just put out a request for help on Facebook. In less than an hour I had three places to stay. Old man strong.
As a choral musician, I’ve had to help move many a piano. Mostly uprights and some grands. I used to get some guys and we would muscle those uprights around. Until a piano mover showed me a certain kind of piano dolley technique that he used to load and move heavy upright pianos, all by himself. It still takes some strength, but is really quite simple and a whole lot easier. Old man strong.
But the greatest old man strong, is understanding where real strength comes from.
Here is the psalm of “Old Man Strong.”
Prayer of an Old Man for Deliverance.
For You are my hope;
O Lord God, You are my confidence from my youth.
By You I have been sustained from my birth;
You are He who took me from my mother’s womb;
My praise is continually of You.
I have become a marvel to many,
For You are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with Your praise
And with Your glory all day long.
O God, You have taught me from my youth,
And I still declare Your wondrous deeds.
And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me,
Until I declare Your strength to this generation,
Your power to all who are to come.