Getting older is no joke. Whoever thought that the elder years should be referred to as one’s “Golden Years” obviously never got old. God states we should respect our elders for a variety of reasons. We fight aging, we dye our hair, use anti-wrinkle creams, whiten our teeth, get botox treatments, face-lifts, tummy tucks, and hit the gym.
Consider Provers 16:31:
The silver-haired head is a crown of glory, If it is found in the way of righteousness.
I’m not sure about glory. It seems that getting old means (among other things):
- the body fails when least expected
- the brain says “You’re only 18.”
- the body has a completely different interpretation!
- pain shows up without an injury
- sleep becomes hard to come by
- things seem to loosen up a bit in the memory department, particularly in the short-term area
- incontinence happens — we start out incontinent and end up incontinent (full circle that one)
- some things are scary
- vision just isn’t what it used to be
- hearing is tougher and compensateion efforts are made by trying to read lips or guess at what people are saying by the context of the conversation
- sometimes important dates are forgotten
- freedoms, like driving, become harder to keep
- arthritis, sleep apnea, high cholesterol, cancer, hips and other joints give out and sometimes need replacing, and heart disease are rampant among our senior population
The worst thing, the younger generations want to push aside aging parents and grandparents. Too busy to be bothered to sit down and have a conversation or call on the phone. Aging family members are a “problem to be dealt with.”
Unfortunately, nursing homes and assisted living facilities are popping up all over and being filled to capacity. Aged people spending time with aged people. It seems like this is the second time one spends time with people their own age. The first time is the school years and the second the aged years. Seniors need challenges and interactions with younger people.
Families need to make their older members a priority. They need to be comfortable where they live, they need to know they are loved, they need reason’s to get up and go. Not so different from younger folks are they?
The pslamist reports in 92:14:
They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing,
The aging in our society have so much to offer. Older people are fresh and flourishing if they are given a chance. For example, my parents live next door to a family with small children. These children are constantly seeking out my parents. My parents have to ask them if their Mother knows where they are when they suddenly pop up! I wonder why?
I think it is because children haven’t lost the wonder of talking to people and making new friends. They don’t know they aren’t supposed to like older people. They don’t have the stereotypical beliefs about the elderly. Instead, they find my parents fun and enjoy their conversations. They like doing things with my parents. They will report ith their toy shovels when my folks are outside and say “I’m ready to work.” They work alongside one or both of my parents and lots of conversation passes between them. So much is learned by both parties and both truly enjoy their encounters.
The gray-haired among us have wisdom and experience beyond my years. They have hoed a hard row. They have struggled with finances to raise their families, they have traveled (or not), they have lasting marriages, many have served our country, many other commitments they have kept. The stories they can tell!
The aging should be sought out for their advice and for their friendship. They were once where the younger are now walking. How great an opportunity! The ability to talk to someone who has walked a path a younger person is walking or preparing to walk. Such an awesome gift!
The psalmist goes on in Psalm 71:9:
Do not cast me off in the time of old age; Do not forsake me when my strength fails.
Provebs 23:22 confims:
Listen to your father who begot you, And do not despise your mother when she is old.
Yes, it takes guts to go and seek out an older person, spill your guts, and ask advice. It takes humility. It takes courage. It takes a willingness to change. It takes a willingness to trust. Some might say this is a pretty expensive proposition. I say it is much less expensive than recreating the wheel or bloodying one’s self against the proverbial brick wall over and over again. You know the definition of insanity:
Doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.
Seeking the wise counsel of your elders could save countless heartaches!
Who are you going to seek out?
Featured image: imgarcade.com