In a few days, Lord willing, I will be eligible to join SourcePoint. Thrive after 55! Look out, ping pong tables, here I come! (There are ping pong tables at SourcePoint, right?)
I entered full-time ministry when I was 25, and I am aware that there are more years behind me than ahead of me. Like most people my age, I wonder how I got this old, this fast.
My first seven years of ministry were spent without the internet, and I got a lot more accomplished. If someone wanted to talk with me, they called. If they wanted to send a letter, they put a stamp on it. The former took a little time, and the latter took a little money.
But email costs the sender nothing.
General Lee once said about General Grant, “Grant just keeps coming and coming.” Same with email.
I miss the telephone. I don’t mean the ever-present cell phone. I mean the kind of phone that was attached to the wall or tethered to the desk.
We still have a landline at the parsonage. Recently, our aging cordless phone gave up the ghost. My wife priced them online. No one wanted to sell us one phone, but rather a package of three. We didn’t need three phones.
Then I remembered the old rotary phone that was sitting on a small desk in the bedroom. It was functioning as a decoration, a piece of nostalgia.
“Does it still work?” I wondered.
I plugged it into the phone jack and asked my wife to dial our number with her cell phone, and behold, I heard that wonderful ringing sound as of old.
I told a friend about it. He said, “It was always so satisfying to slam one of those receivers down after an annoying call. So much better than pressing a button or touching a screen.”
Amen! So now when a telemarketer calls at dinnertime or a person from a political research firm inquires about my opinions, the receiver goes down. Hard.
A cell phone would not hold up to that kind of treatment, but the old rotary phone, built like a 1978 Buick, practically begs me to do it again. And again.
We seniors don’t need to feel intimidated by the young folks and their technology. In fact, they may eventually discover for themselves the wonderful stress-releasing feature of their grandparents’ old rotary phone.
Rev. Philip Wilden is the pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church, located at 55 W. Lincoln Ave. in Delaware.