I've been rereading a book that about a year ago my daughter-in-law and son gave to me. Looking back on it, I figure they are making a statement about me — and they may not be far off the mark. The title of the book is "When I'm an Old Coot: Witticisms for People Who Refuse to Grow old Gracefully." I got to thinking about that and thought I'd do a little research. Just in case you are not familiar with the word, "coot," it is defined in this way:

What about you?

"a harmless simple minded person," Used in this way, "Don't mind him, he's just a crazy old coot" (Webster's Dictionary).

Humm, makes me begin to rethink the nature of the gift? No, really, I know it was just a gift that was given in fun — at least I think it was! Actually, I know why they thought of me with a book with this title. It is because I don't usually make the expected decisions or do the things that "folks of my age" are normally expected to do. I know that more than one person has thought my decisions may at the least be questionable by accepted, safe, and comfortable standards for folks my age.

I also got to thinking about the word "gracefully." It is defined this way:

"pleasing or attractive in line, proportion, movements or actions" (Webster's Dictionary).

Humm, again not me! I don't fit into any of those categories.

So, let me see if I understand this: I'm an old crazy person who is not always pleasing or attractive in my actions. Probably a few of you can identify with me in these things. The truth is, I don't mind being different. This is especially so if we are talking about being different from the world. I don't mind being seen as crazy, not fitting in, and not pleasing or acceptable in my attitudes or actions if we are talking about the worldly views on things. In fact, being different in this way is even biblical:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2 NIV).

A great example of this is what Peter wrote to Christians caught in difficult times because of how the world viewed them:

You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy, their immorality and lust, their feasting and drunkenness and wild parties, and their terrible worship of idols. Of course, your former friends will think you are crazy when you no longer plunge into the flood of wild and destructive things they do. So they'll call you a crazy old coot or simple minded. But remember that they will have to face God, who will judge everyone, both the living and the dead. That is why the Good News was preached to those who are now dead, so although they were destined to die like all people, they now live forever with God in the Spirit (1 Peter 4:3-6 paraphrase by author).

Forgive my taking a few liberties with the scripture, but I believe it contains the thoughts of the original message. As I said I don't mind being different from those around me when it comes to pleasing God. What about you?