Clayton D. Harriger was born on August 5, 1933 to Russell & Helen (Sedgwick) Harriger at a farm house in Monroe Township in Clarion County, Pennsylvania.
I just recently celebrated my 78th birthday. Since I am on Facebook, my birth date was common knowledge among the many friends I have through this social network. I received a large number of greetings from not only friends and relatives here in the United States, but from many who live in nations outside the U. S. as well. For all these well wishes extended to me I am extremely grateful. I regret that I was not able to respond personally to each one of those greetings. So at this time I am stating my heart felt gratitude for all who took time to post some words and wishing me a happy birthday.
It was a good day and a relaxing one. There was no party and that was quite OK. I am at the age now where parties do not have the meaning they used to have in my very young years. I remember especially one my mother arranged for me when I was about 8 or 9 years of age. It was a surpise and quite a few friends came with gifts which were exciting to open. That special day was indelibly stamped into my memory.
But now, on to the question asked at the beginning - does an old man of 78 years have any real future? I have witnessed drastic changes in the nation and the world during the seven decades plus that I have lived. Science has developed many advances in many fields which have enhanced our living conditions. Going to the dentist, for instance, isn't quite the agony it used to be. At that young age to which I referred a moment ago, going to the dentist meant you would not receive novocaine for drilling out and filling a cavity. The drill was a slow speed piece of equipment which I referred to as the "grinder!" The pain could be sheer torture and added to that was the stink when the smoke began to roll as the dentist just kept on drilling and drilling -- no spray of water applied either during the process!
Anyway, developments and inventions of a wide variety have helped to make life a better quality experience over time.
But on the other hand the standards of morality, ethics, and spirituality have horribly deteriorated over time as well. Scandals among high profile persons in our culture are becoming quite common place. The two primary driving forces in our culture, state and church, are weighed in the balances and found greatly wanting -- to quote a situation from the book of Daniel in the Old Testament of the Bible!
Elected officials in the U. S. government have hatched a "health care plan" which eventually will result in old people being hung out to dry -- one theme in all this is referred to as "cost effectiveness" -- that is, will it be good to treat a person for health needs because it will result in that person living longer and making a further contribution for the improvement of society, or will it be a wasted expenditure because the person in question will not be living very much longer anyway due to age!
There is a cold and calloused attitude developing which essentially says that old people are like parasites in our culture -- they are a drain on finances and take up space, while making absolutely no contribution for the enhancement of society -- they are like a ball & chain and hindering the progress and prosperity of our nation! So it really is best to see them make their exit from this earthly existence as soon as possible!
I am one of those "candidates" that eventually may be "hung out and left to dry" (insert word "die" if you wish). It is amazing how the spirit of Nazi Germany is creeping into our nation and influencing viewpoints and attitudes. Greatest proof is in the bloody trail created by destroying over 53 million unborn children since January 1973 by sanction of the Judicial, Executive, and Legislative branches of the federal government!
Do I have any real future? You thought I would never get to that, didn't you? I answer with an enthusiastic "Yes!" However, my future and high expectations do not rest upon what is going on in Washington DC or in the capitol of the state in which I live, Harrisburg PA. The shenanigans going on in such places as those offer no hope whatsoever, The Bible informs us clearly as to how the manipulative antics of humans in the times preceding the judgment of God will proceed.
My hope rests upon the Person and promises of Jesus Christ, the living Son of God. I was and am not worthy of such love and mercy as He has shown to me. I was not yet born when the apostle Paul said that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners -- and then he added, "... of whom I am chief!" I would have to say to Paul, "Get behind me and be second in line -- I'll take the place of being the 'chief' of sinners!"
Jesus died an agonizing, tortuous death on the cross -- in so doing, He paid the penalty leveled against me for every sin of which I have been guilty in my entire lifetime. And he did the same for you, dear reader. I repented of my sins, asked His forgiveness, and received Him as Savior and Lord into my life many years ago. My life has been far from perfect since that miraculous moment many years ago -- but where I have failed, He has been gracious to forgive and restore me to fellowship with Him on a daily basis!
My hope is not only centered in Him as Savior and Lord, but also in the prospect of His personal return to this chaotic planet to take control of human affairs. What a day that will be. I got so excited one time about this that I wrote a blog piece discussing the wonderful fact that a great day is coming -- all government officials will be out of a job, including those in the U.S. -- if it is still around at that time! Jesus Christ will be in total charge as He establishes His Kingdom over the whole world.
One of many promises concerning this future event upon which I stand is found in Revelation 11:15 which explicitly declares: "Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, 'The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!'"
Yes, it is an ever present reality that an old man can have a rock solid hope for the future as he views the shifting sands of the nations and present governments of this world -- a hope that extends beyond the very limited things of time into eternity itself where the perfect trouble-free environment exists as established by One Who holds the title, "King of kings and Lord of lords!"
But until that hope of which I speak becomes a reality in this world, I shall continue to fulfill the calling God gave me to preach and teach His holy Word, bearing witness in whatever way possible that Jesus is "..the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No man comes to the Father but through Him." (John 14:6).
Where is your hope centered today?
By You I have been upheld from my birth; You are He who took me out of my mother's womb. My praise shall be continually of You. I have become as a wonder to many, but You are my strong refuge. Let my mouth be filled with Your praise and with Your glory all the day. Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength fails. For my enemies speak against me; and those who lie in wait for my life take counsel together, saying, "God has forsaken him; pursue and take him, for there is none to deliver him." O God, do not be far from me; O my God, make haste to help me! Let them be confounded and consumed who are adversaries of my life; let them be covered with reproach and dishonor who seek my hurt. But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness and Your salvation all the day, for I do not know their limits. I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of Your righteousness, of Yours only. O God, You have taught me from my youth; and to this day I declare Your wondrous works. Now also when I am old and gray-headed, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come. Also Your righteousness, O God, is very high, You who have done great things; O God, who is like You? You, who have shown me great and severe troubles, shall revive me again, and bring me up again from the depths of the earth. --- Psalm 71:6-20