Grumpy Old Man

Mark J. Janssen
4 min readAug 11, 2022

Lucky me.

From childhood right through middle age I was told that I was born a grumpy old man. That I spoke and acted like an old man. And I was asked — ordered might be a better term — to lighten up. To act my age. By many different men and women under a variety of circumstances.

Now I became an old man. Inexplicably, since that day indistinguishable from all other days (except the American government said so) people right and left are telling me that I am not a grumpy old man. They could never imagine me like that. It’s a silly thing to say.

Maybe I am older. In the last third of my life.

So what?

Suddenly, as I near my biological expiration date, all sorts of otherwise lovely and quite likely sane people are telling me that I’m a nice old guy.

What’s wrong with them?

Stop and think about it for a minute. In our world somebody who performs spirit clearings is weird at best. Scary if you’ve ever seen one of us at work. We pray for God and the angels to help us. We pray for the ghosts (souls) to go to heaven. Really. Even the bad guys. It’s a terrible disappointment any time one doesn’t choose to go to heaven. Angels escort the souls of the dead or ghosts or whatever you call them through the Tunnel of Light.


There’s a door. Inside it’s all light. It looks like a tunnel. No one soul stays there long enough to mention. A soul goes into the light and disappears. Unless the soul chose hell. In which case I see them drop as if the floor gave out beneath them. Like a sinkhole.

Or unless it’s an exorcism.

Exorcisms make me grumpy. Angry almost to the point of rage. My attitude is very straightforward.

How dare those demons enter my world?

The least complicated exorcisms are those where only demons are involved. Then the only human who could possibly get hurt is me. I’m not worried about physical harm or going to hell. If God’s going to send me into that mess with Satan and his gang, God is responsible for getting me out safe and alive.

Exorcisms involving ghosts are simply sad. While alive that soul chose to go with evil rather than good. Their afterlife is in the midst of demons. The person foolishly supposed that the short term gains of this life would get them where they wanted to be forever. Including after their bodies died.

Not so.

Then there are exorcisms where demons must be driven out of a living person. The wisest thing for any mortal is to be as far away as possible while demons are being driven out of a living person. Go find a nice quiet place to pray. Pray and stay far, far away.

Pray and meditate. Be grateful for who you are and what you have. That someone else was called in by the Creator to do the heavy lifting. Whether that someone is me or somebody else.

Pray for us. Meditate. If you must think, try to focus on one thought, one word. Whether that be God, Om, light or any other concept that works for you. You are making miracles possible.

Life is stormy. We each have challenges to face. Regardless of our personal difficulties, the storms and stresses that are ours’ to face make it possible for us grow deeper spiritual roots.

Perhaps I feel that I have become grumpier because of the spiritual work I do.

The actor Bette Davis famously said that old age isn’t for sissies. Whatever spiritual work I do, it isn’t for sissies, either.

More days than one might suppose, I am grumpy with God about it. There’s this thing about never having a day off. It makes for a good case of physical and sometimes spiritual exhaustion.

The flip side is that the work, whether sending souls on through the Tunnel of Light or exorcising demons is tremendously rewarding. There’s the satisfaction of knowing that the world is better. That following an exorcism both our world and all of creation is a safer place to live.

On the odd occasion, I am also used to help restore another human to health. Over the years, it has come to feel incredibly rewarding. I am not the reason another person is restored to health. I am just a tool making it possible.

But I get to see it. I don’t have to be the reason for the action. I just want to watch the action as it unfolds. Sometimes it happens without my knowledge. I am asked to pray for a person. I do. End of story. Other times I pray with them and am privileged to see the restoration to good health.

We live in a world which sometimes fails to understand spiritual principles. Sometimes those spiritual principles are rejected. That cavalier blindness makes me grumpy.

Still, I go on.

It’s my job.



Mark J. Janssen

Mark Janssen is a spiritual warrior, mystic and author. His writes a weekly blog. His memoir “Reach for the Stars” is available online and in bookstores.