Will you live to be 100 like Annabel?

This blog post was intended for last Tuesday, before I knew about the events in Boston.  Continue to pray – but enjoy thinking about the future too.  God holds this world in his hand. . . no one understands that better than Annabel.  Enjoy her story.

I wish I was a better photographer, but this is Annabel Schmidt at her 100th birthday party.  We were in Midland last weekend to attend a homecoming celebration for First Baptist .  We stopped by to celebrate with Annabel as well.  She is 100 years old and as dear and feisty as ever.  Annabel was born is 1913 and had a 1.1% chance of reaching 100 – but she did!  What are the chances you and I will celebrate our 100th birthday?

A study offered some interesting statistics for that question.  If you are a woman in your fifties, you have a 15% chance of reaching 100, but if you are a man – you have a 10% chance.  A woman in her twenties has a 23% chance of reaching her 100th birthday, but a 20 year old man has a 19.5% chance.  I would like to ponder why there is such a difference between men and women, but that is probably the subject of a different blog post! 

Those in their twenties are 3 times more likely to have 100 candles than their grandparents.  But be encouraged, if you can reach your 99th birthday, you have a 67% chance of seeing your centennial celebration.  Now, don’t you want to put down the Oreo and grab an apple instead?

When Annabel was born, 100 years ago, Woodrow Wilson was president, John D. Rockefeller was making more money than he knew what to do with and Pablo Picasso was painting really strange pictures that people like Annabel wish they had known to purchase back then! 

World War I began when Annabel was two and I imagine her parents were afraid for their new baby and the world she would grow up in.  She was a young girl during the Roaring Twenties and might have gotten into trouble for trying to dance like a Flapper!  The conservative church-going people were very worried about the direction they felt the culture was taking during that time. 

Annabel was 28 when she heard the news about Pearl Harbor.  She has seen the world go from narrow roads, with an occasional car, to 6-lane freeways crowded with rush hour traffic.  She has been entertained by radio, then television and movies and now is probably not very entertained by either! 

And for the vast majority of her life there has been one consistent, unchanging truth.  Jesus has been her Lord and she has served him with her life.  I first met Anabel 27 years ago.  She smiled with the joy of the Lord then, and she smiled with that same joy on her 100th birthday.

Annabel lived through two World Wars, the Great Depression, the Great Recession, the ups and downs of raising a family, the ups and downs of marriage, the death of her husband and she walked those life moments with Jesus.  She is 100 years old and looking forward to the day her joy is complete, and she sees her Lord face to face. 

What are your joys and your troubles?  Annabel would tell you that Scripture is true when it reminds you that they are “light and momentary”  (2 Corinthians 4:17).  Christians were worried about the American culture in the 1920’s and they are worried about the culture today.  But Jesus isn’t worried at all – he is busy working to make it better.  Are you helping Jesus change the world?  

I can’t promise you that you will live to be 100.  (Especially if you are a man…sorry, just HAD to say it!)  I can promise you what Jesus promised you – joy for the journey.  He said, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete (John 15:11).  Have an apple, turn off the news, enjoy the sunshine and find someone to share the love of Christ with today.  Shoot for your 99th birthday, and there is a good chance you will celebrate 100 too.  Live this day with the joy of Jesus.  I bet Annabel does!

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