17. Not So “Tiggerific” Anymore

NOT SO “TIGGERIFIC” ANYMORE

One of my favorite Disney characters of all time is Tigger! Whether he’s bouncing around on his tail, helping Pooh find his honey pot, teasing Eeyore about his gloomy outlook, or chasing Rabbit around the meadow, Tigger always seems to be upbeat and happy. He seems to have an endless supply of energy. If you looked up the word “enthusiasm” in the dictionary, you just might find a picture of him!

At one time in my life I truly was a “Tigger”. My energy supply seemed almost endless. I could put in 18 hour days at work and still have at least 2-3 hours to play time before I needed to rest. The way I looked at it, too much sleep was just a waste of time – 4 hours a day was more than sufficient.

I’m not really ready to admit I’m getting old, but even I have noticed a dwindling supply of energy lately. I’m moving a little slower, having a harder time getting out of a soft recliner, turning the sound up on my TV more often and noticing that there are some minor aches and pains in places that used to move free. I’m experiencing the 5 “B’s” of aging – bunions, bulges, baldness, bifocals and backaches!  My body has begun to slow down, decay, sag, groan, and wear out. The parts that work are beginning to hurt and the parts that don’t hurt are beginning not to work!  While I still probably have more energy than most, even I have to admit my body is in decline! Isn’t that sad!!

I’ve always felt my enthusiasm and upbeat spirit have served me well in the ministry. In fact, I’ve often said that I have the spiritual gift of “enthusiasm”…..I know you can’t find that on the list of spiritual gifts in the Bible but nevertheless I’ve always believed that to be true.  I figure the Holy Spirit just confirm that to those that have the gift and they don’t need to see it in  writing!

But what will happen if I slow down a become,….well, “normal”?  Will people still like me? Will I still be useful?  How will I get anything done? What will I do with all that “down time”? What does a Tigger do when he stops being so “Tiggerific”?

While I’m not sure of all the answers to that question, I’ve always believed God has a plan for each day of our lives. As I watch those around me I sometimes wonder what their future will be?  What waits for my own children, grandchildren, and (heaven sakes) my future great-grandchildren? When I’m too old to “bounce” anymore, will I be able to contribute anything meaningful to my family, my church, my place of employment or society?

Perhaps the answer isn’t in the “bouncing” but in the personality of Tigger! In the midst of sometimes difficult circumstances Tigger always seems to find the positive. His outlook on life is worthy of our emulation. I want to be a positive, happy, pleasant guy to be around….even when I’m old and wrinkled. I may not be able to keep up with the 20-somethings anymore, but I’d love them to want to around an old Tigger like me!

It’s not so much being the type of person who sees the glass “half full” instead of “half empty”…….it’s more about being a person who knows that God loves them and has a wonderful plan for their life no matter how much is left in the glass!

Though our bodies may grow old and become less useful, our minds and our hearts can continue to grow until the day we cast off this old shell of life.  One day I hope to experience my body transformed like a butterfly emerging from his caterpillar cocoon.  The infirmities of this flesh will be changed into something I can’t even imagine but have begun to think about more and more as the aches, pains, and physical limitations increase in the body I currently occupy.  This old Tigger is really going to learn to bounce someday!!

So here’s my challenge to all of the bouncing Tiggers, silly Pooh’s, gloomy Eeyores, and mischievous Rabbits out there…….let’s show the next generation that we refuse to become “victims” of life’s inevitable circumstances. Rather, let’s demonstrate the staying power of God’s grace, in spite of the creaking bones, gray hair, and wrinkled faces! Of all the “lessons” we can teach those “young bucks”, nothing could be more powerful than the power of that type of example.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”                Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”        -2 Corinthians 12:9