Beyond 100


On the steps of the Vine St. Mennonite Church in Lancaster, PA. We are soon to begin the trip South

In my last posting I said I was “89 and shooting for 100”.  In this post I will explain again that I write from the perspective of one who is nearing the end of a long journey and looking beyond my 100th year. The question is obvious. What do I know about what happens beyond my hundredth year?

The answer is simple. I know nothing. I do not even know beyond one second from now. In the next moment I may slump over my computer desk without time to push my call button to signal an emergency. Sometime later someone may find my collapsed body.  While I acknowledge these possibilities, I know nothing.

Knowing nothing is not new to me.  I did not know that I would be conceived by my mother and father. I did not know I would be born to a small family on a small organic farm in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. I did not know that I would meet and woo Rhoda, and we would have a daughter and an adopted son.

Tampa tent.BMP

In 1927 the Mennonite church meetings in Tampa began in a tent.

Rhoda and I did not know what was ahead of us when we drove southward in our 1931 Chevrolet coupe. Not knowing might have made us nervous and a bit fearful, but we sang, I will not be afraid. We were naive, not fearful.

Ponder these simple thoughts:  I may wish for a something so strongly that I begin to believe it is real and will be granted to me. My active imagination may support my belief. For instance, I may wish so strongly for a heaven with streets of gold and a river of life that I begin to believe such to be in our future. By faith, I may begin to act, sing, talk, even preach and write as though I knew that bliss awaited me and persuade others to be as hopeful as I am.

Ida St Church

Ida St. Mennonite Church

Unfortunately, I could be deceiving myself.  For wishing, believing, imagining, and acting as though something is real does not add up to knowing it’s true. Even my knowledge of my past is unreliable because I am 89, and my memories fade.

Jerome Sawatski knows what this is all about. He was a university professor, author, and researcher in peace and conflict studies until he was diagnosed with a fatal disease called Huntington’s Disease.  HD is a disease that strikes quickly and slowly but certainly diminishes the human brain.  He is writing a blog named, Dancing with an Elephant.

In my next blog I hope to write of what to do in the meantime that is between now and then

Ever watchful Joy
Noticed something was lacking
There is no Haiku  

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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3 Responses to Beyond 100

  1. Ned Kauffman says:

    Wow, Martin,
    Once again, you have spoken as a very wise “Old Fool.” I will honor your name in my introductory bio to my sharing, “The Water Molecule and Beyond,” at next Wednesdays Men’s Fellowship. I’ve always thought and said that I’m evolving. To know sounds too certain and final.

  2. Don Blosser says:

    Well done Martin. Your comment about wishing for something so desperately that you come believe it must be true is so very common. I know persons for whom that describes exactly what they are experiencing. But the problem is that they now KNOW that what they used to believe because they wished so hard for it is in fact absolutely TRUE. Believing in life after life is so comforting and essential for many people that I would not want to destroy their fragile belief system by yanking that out from under them. But on the other hand, I do not need the promise/assurance of life after I die in order to want to live fully as a follower of Jesus while I am alive today.
    If there is something there (and I have no specific experience to validate that there is) then I assume I will enjoy that blessing, and I will be grateful.
    If there is nothing there, then after I have lived—and died– I will not be aware that I am missing out on anything. So I am right back where I was— the joy of my life is the experience of living as a follower of Jesus on a daily basis and not the anticipation of something better off in the future.
    My faith is rooted in the call to live NOW…not to live now in the anticipation that I will REALLY LIVE after I die.

  3. Joe Sauder says:

    Martin, I too have a vivid imagination and I can picture in my mind what I read or think of. When the Bible describes the Holy City coming down from God out of Heaven I can see a real object 1200 miles square and 1200 miles high as if it already happened. My curiosity wants to see it and my faith says it will happen just like I imagine it. But I need to realize that Paul was right when he said “eye has not seen nor ear has not heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man what the Lord has prepared for them that love Him.” It will surpass our greatest imagination !

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