When we are young, there is a wonderful temptation to think we are immortal, that the future is ours and we will always be healthy and strong. To a child there are precious few thoughts of growing old, much less moving toward true infirmity. But then the years take there toll, decades pass, and in the end finally our “strength fails.”
Because there are lessons to be learned in old age that simply are not possible to learn in our youth, God and life intended us to know the full range of mortal experience. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, “The years teach much which the days never know.”
Unfortunately with old age can come genuine disability–disease, disappointment, limited use of our bodies, and sometimes limited use of our minds. Probably every “senior citizen” has had an occasion to say to the lord or to their family “Cast me not off in time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.”
But added to that general plea for help in such times ought to be a special plea still to show God’s strength “unto this generation.” We want not to fall short because often we have not fulfilled our missions. We have not demonstrated yet all of our power and strength that life, experience, years of learning and wisdom that has made us what we are and shaped our lives in what we are trying to become. The younger generation and our children’s children–need to see that in us and hear it from our lips. There are lessons that the elderly have learned that can only be learned –and can only be taught–by the elderly. We can’t glean them by any other source or by any other way.
So all those that are feeling old and “grayheaded” we say hold on, pray on, keep living, loving and learning. And above all keep teaching.
Find every opportunity to teach the next generation all that life has done for you–all the faith and the miracles that come from life all around and laid before you. Perhaps the greatest teaching will be the eloquence of your long and worthy life. Celebrate even the aged season of your life and pray that it might be extended until you have showed and shared strength and wisdom to the next generation and bless everyone that is to come.
I worry often about a term called relevance. I worry for the elderly, retired or the aging because they feel alone, they feel cast off or cast out and they feel irrelevant. THEY ARE RELEVANT. We need them, we should love, help, learn from and be with them. They have so much insight to what lies ahead and what they have been through that we can learn from. Never, Never, Never discount the elderly. They have something you don’t have and you need. More insight into what is to come and also the experiences they have had that we can learn from that could change our lives for the better.
If your parents or grandparents are still alive take good care of them, visit them, learn from them and let them know they are very relevant to you and your family. If they are not you can do many things; find other elderly to love, learn from and help them feel relevant and you can also find out more about your parents or grandparents that you can learn from that have passed on.
Be careful who you call old…..they hold the keys to lots and lots of wisdom, insight and can help you avoid some pitfalls that you have no clue are coming at you.
That is my musing for the morning. I hope you enjoy it and maybe take some action with it. To bless the poor and elderly is truly a duty or really a blessing we have but to not do it can inhibit our own life.
I saw a writing on the wall in Italy a few years ago in the Chapel of the bones. It was thousands of years old and had many monks bones buried and formed into art work if you can believe it. But I will never forget the sign that said, “Where you are, we once were. Where we are you will become.”
Take care of all those around you, especially the elderly because they are so Relevant to us all.
Thanks for reading and thinking about this for a second. I challenge you to do something about it. Just call someone and tell them you were thinking about them or that you love them. (Right now) It will make both of you fell very warm.
Ok, with that go make BIG things happen.
Lots of business to do……be about it and on it.
Love ya all,
8 thoughts on “Be careful whom you call Old.”
Awesome insight as usual. I recently said goodbye, for now, my 97 year old Grandfather and 96 year old grandmother. What a pleasure and honor it was for me to serve them and be a caretaker for them in their final years. I learned so much from them and really enjoyed their life experiences they shared with my Family and I.
Thanks for the challenge, it is completed…… and I enjoyed it.
Well said my friend!
Nice word to start a great new week.
Great advice! Thank you 🙂
This was my favorite of any you have written. I recently moved my 86 year old mother in with me and it has been very challenging at times, but also very rewarding. I have heard stories I probably would never have hear other wise. All they want is to feel like they are important to us and that we need them in their lives. Thank you so much Spencer.
At 91 years young, my grandpa continues to amaze me with his humor, wit, and positivity. Despite his physical decline, he continually reminds me to “make it a great day.”
Great read and yes, relevant. My mother is alone, by choice, but very relevant to me for sure. I seek her advice often as she was in the education system and worked in a hospital before retiring from the pharmacy. She raised me on her own and her advice and teachings have been so great for me. Her mother went through the depression and always warned me to live within my means because of what she went through. These “OLD” people do carry so much wisdom and experience.
Thank You for this, we often forget.