Dennis and I have a lot of young friends--since he is 53 and I'm turning 48 in a month or so almost everyone we know is younger in this college town. But I remember when I was in my 20' and I thought 30-somethings were really old. Most people in their 30's had gotten through a lot of the hurdles I had standing in front of me--finishing college, finding a spouse and a job and making some sort of home. For me at the time, I had difficulty thinking beyond spring semester much less graduation. So, 10 years was practically a lifetime from where I was standing.
The church I attended was on campus and everyone was a student. There were a few grown ups with small children, but I was surprised when an older couple in their 50's started attending. They invited us students over for dinner, were available for advice and counsel and just seemed really relaxed about everything. I can't remember their names, even though I had been over for dinner on occasion. But what they shared about their walks with God was unforgettable.
One Sunday, the older gentleman got up and shared his testimony and he started with "Most often, I feel like I'm 16 still inside even though a 59 year old is staring back from the mirror at me". It occurred to me that people over 30 weren't aliens from another planet, but understand very well what it meant to be 20 or 21. As I approached my mid-20's, I was increasingly more comfortable with people 20 or more years ahead of me. But not completely. Because of my past, I had troubles really trusting elders. Well, for the most part, anyone, young or old. But especially old.
I appreciate Neil Young's song "Old Man". Young had just had his first gold record and was buying some estate that he finally could afford and settle down in. The elderly caretaker who showed him around the property impressed him, and he wrote the song about him.