U. S. Highway 66, or Route 66 as it is usually called, is an iconic, legendary American highway. It runs for 2,448 miles, starting from Chicago, Illinois, and meandering south and west all the way to Santa Monica, California. It’s been immortalized in song—apparently you can “get your kicks on Route 66.” And when I was a kid, there was a TV show called “Route 66” that ran for four seasons, starting in 1960. (I liked the show. I didn’t know what it was about, but the guys drove a Corvette, and that was good enough for me.)

There is also a U.S. Route 67, which runs from Sabula, Iowa (Anybody been to Sabula lately?), going south and then southwest to end at Presidio, Texas, on the Mexican border. Route 67 is not as long as Route 66—only 1,560 miles. And to my knowledge, there aren’t any songs written or TV shows produced about Route 67.

More humble still is our own Indiana State Road 67. It cuts across our state diagonally from Vincennes through Indianapolis to end at the state line near Celina, Ohio. It isn’t very long at all, by comparison. The entire length just misses the 200-mile mark, being officially listed as 199.24 miles long. (That’s 320.65 kilometers for all you Europeans out there.)

I don’t think I’ve ever driven State Road 67 from Indianapolis on north. But I couldn’t begin to count the times I’ve driven the road from Vincennes to Indianapolis. It’s 37 miles from Linton to Vincennes along Highway 67, and 91 miles to Indianapolis. And in the past 26 years, I have driven to both places scores of times, usually to make hospital calls, and often, in Indianapolis, to visit family.

Rae Anne and I discovered early on that going to Indianapolis along Highway 67 is a much more scenic and relaxing drive than going the freeway. There’s less traffic and more trees, and some wonderful places to get coffee or eat along the way. It avoids the higher speeds, higher traffic—and higher risks—of travelling on I-70. And many’s the time we have had extended conversations in our car while driving on Highway 67. The stretch of road from Vincennes to Indianapolis, especially from Linton to Indy, just feels like “our neck of the woods.”

Indiana Highway 67 was established on October 1, 1926, which means it’s 97 years old. I’m relieved that the highway is older than me.  Because, since my birthday last February, often when I drive on

Highway 67 the thought occurs to me that I am now 67 years old. 

That is a surreal thought to me: I am 67 years old. Wow. I know some of you are older than I am, and you’re shaking your head at me right now. (I’m glad somebody’s older than I am! There are still people that call me a “young pup”…but I’ve noticed they’re all a lot older than they used to be.)

Twice over the course of my ministry someone has referred to me as the “hippie preacher.” And my grandfather used to say I was a hippie. But for the record, I’m not old enough to have been a hippie. I knew a couple of them, when I was in high school. But they were older than me, college-age. Good grief, I was only 11 years old during the “Summer of Love” in 1967, and just 13 when Woodstock happened! But every now and then, somebody would call me a hippie. (These days, little kids ask, “Mommy, what’s a hippie?”)

But I’ve become an old guy. There’s no use denying it. I didn’t feel like an adult until I was about 33 years old. Until then, I just felt like a kid in an adult’s body. But when I turned 33, I thought, “Well, there’s no use denying it now. I’m an adult!” And that’s how I feel at this age. I’ve got silver-white hair, I’m past 65, and I’m on Medicare. There’s no use denying it. I’m an old guy.

I read somewhere or heard someone say, “I don’t know how to act my age. I’ve never been this old before.” And that’s exactly how I feel. I’m not depressed to be 67 years old. I’m just surprised…astonished, really. It’s not that I expected to die young. It’s just that I got to this age so fast. And sometimes I forget how old I am…until I’ve sat too long and try to get up too fast. Then my stiff joints and aching muscles remind me what age I am.

Okay, I’m probably losing the younger people, if I haven’t lost them already. What’s the point of all this blathering about being older? It’s just this: it all goes so fast.

I know: I heard older people say things like that when I was younger, and I thought, “Are you kidding? It sure doesn’t seem like it to me!” Then I blinked my eyes a few times, and now I’m 67 years old.

I actually feel a sense of gratitude to God for how old I am. There are famous people in history who died when they were a lot younger than I am now. (Nero was 30. Napoleon was 51.) There are famous preachers I’ve read about most of my life who were much younger than me when they died. (C. H. Spurgeon died when he was 57. And Dwight L. Moody was 62.) And I’m constantly seeing stories in the news about this or that famous celebrity who has died. Some of them weren’t much older than me. Some of them were younger.

It was Beatles producer George Martin who said, “If you’re lucky, you get to be old.” I think he was right. Our bodies start betraying us as we get older. But when I look at my grandsons, or even at the kids running around our church these days, I think to myself: “I wouldn’t have missed this for the world!” It’s worth getting older just to get to know these children. (And their parents, too.) Let’s tie all this together with some Scriptures. Life goes fast. “…we bring our years to an end like a sigh.” (Psalm 90:9) “What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” (James 4:14) But there is such delight to be found in children. “Young men and maidens together, old men and children! Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven.” (Psalm 148:12-13) That passage always makes me smile. It describes how families begin—with “young men and maidens”—and how they end up—with “old men and children”. And there is such joy when generations worship God together! This is what older people are supposed to do: tell the younger ones about God. “He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments…” (Psalm 78:5-7)

The truth is, the only reason I’m here telling anybody else about Jesus is because some wonderful old people told me about Him, most notably my grandparents. Now it’s my turn to be old. Some days I’m even wonderful. (Only because of Jesus!) And I find myself praying again and again: “God, help me to just be faithful. And seek Your glory, not my own. And not sin.”

Because, more than anything, as I reach the end of “Highway 67” and get ready to turn onto “Highway 68,” when somebody younger looks at me, I want them to get a sense of God’s smile. Lord, help that to be true!

Soli Deo Gloria!

Pastor David