LIFE AS A 73-YEAR OLD

I’m trying not to let it get me down. It’s hard to get back up. My train of thought often leaves the station before I do. And my memory is not as sharp as it used to be, and neither is my memory. Like somebody said, so far this is the oldest I’ve been.

My brother-in-law asked if I wished I were younger. I love this season. I have  experience, which should amount for something. I have learned from mistakes, well some of them. Here’s why I like getting older. But first a couple negatives:

 

  1. The knees are not working like they used to. That slows me down.
  2. Total recall is a thing of the past. Used to be good at names. Forget that. But it’s okay, because I can’t hear as much anyway.

More positives:

  1. My children still look to me and Karen. I may be wiser in my old age.
  2. Legacy. Generations of righteousness adds up. So thankful for those who preceded me.
  3. Mentoring is a joy. I love giving away what God has put in my heart.
  4. People sometimes expect less and hopefully we can surprise them and give them more.
  5. The Biblical culture favors age over youth.
  6. I can still exercise. My kids push me, so I push them.

Jeremiah was lamenting the fall of Jerusalem and the judgment of God upon the disobedient nation. It was a sad day in Israel when “elders are shown no respect” (Lam. 5:12) and “the elders are gone from the city gate” (14). One of the curses for disobedience Moses reviewed with the nation about to enter the Promised Land was that God would send them “a fierce-looking nation without respect for the old or pity for the young” (Deut. 28:50).

Fears sometime accompany the journey into old age: “Do not cast me away when I am old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone” (Psalm 71:9). But God promises: “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you” (Isaiah 46:4). Our society and our families should take their cue regarding care for the elderly from the Ancient of Days. He does not ignore them in their times of need and show favoritism to the youth.

Two words for the elderly:

YOU ARE STILL NEEDED.

You connect the generations. I know you don’t always feel honored. Not your fault. God honors you, and I hope your children do. Karen and I are deeply grateful for the prayers of Phil and Margaret, her parents and my champions. We call them daily to connect and to pray together, which they do with passion, even though they don’t remember all the names. When Margaret was wondering why she was still around, I said, “We know why–you need to pray for us.” She shot up her hands in the air and began to pray.

EXERCISE YOUR BODY.

You’ll live longer. “Sedentary” will not help you. Karen’s parents (93 & 92) exercise before they get out of bed in the morning. I admire their desire to keep on keeping on. Don’t check out before you check out!

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