OLD…and NOT useless
As I often do, I listen to Christian videos or read about the lives of Christians. Most are inspiring, but recently, I watched a priest urge people to use the life they have as young people for God…not to wait until they are “old and useless.” That statement really struck home with me that this man of the cloth, as a young man in probably his late 40’s, would make that comment was unthinkable. To his credit, if he knew how this sounded or what it might mean to someone my age, just turned 81, he might say that he didn’t actually mean to use that word, “useless.”
This blog is dedicated to all those who one day will follow me to an older age and to those who have already reached my age and beyond. YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO BE USELESS.
Even if a person is confined to a wheelchair or in a sick bed… not as steady on the feet as in previous years, you have much to do for God. The first thing that comes to my mind, because it is what I am earnestly trying to do, is to thank God for the life that has been lived and to bring to God a spirit of prayer… more smiles and encouragement to the people who surround us. As long as you have breath, you can do these things.
EVERYONE is growing “older” by the day. I have always said, when I hear someone lament that “GETTING OLD is not for sissies,” ….you mean “Getting older…not old,” don’t you?
What are some of the things we can do as we get older?
Give praise to God for the places you have been here on earth…the trips that you may not be able to take again…but your memory is fresh…and those memories are beautiful. Give praise for the little child you held in your arms, who is now an adult with a life of his/her own. They too are getting older. I have two sons in or approaching their 50’s. They are active, intelligent and their hair is beginning to grey…just a little. As you see, time does not stand still. We may try to keep the hair dark or cover the wrinkles, but, believe me, the pancake makeup or powder just makes them worse!
I give thanks everyday that I have not only the memories of my children’s youth, but the joy of hearing their voices when they call and say, “Nothing important, just checking in to see how you are.”
This thoughtfulness is too often forgotten by many young people who have “busy” lives, but one day, when they are older, they will also want that call that means so much. When they do call, it is a real treat for every grandparent.
No, I don’t plan to ever be “useless.” There are those who know that I will continue to pray for them. I will, as long as I can find my computer and keyboard, continue to write about the things that interest me.
Grandma Moses picked up her brush to paint long into her older years. My closet is loaded with paints that I pull out from time to time to start a new creation…so I will take a Moses lesson and use the creativity God has given me. It won’t be a perfect masterpiece ,like a Michelangelo, but it will be all mine and if I can find some extra room…it will go on my wall for all to see. The fact that my walls are now covered with family pictures, paintings, my Mother’s needlepoint, and places where I have traveled is no accident. They remind me of life. The life that I have lived by God’s grace and leading.
As long as I can walk, I will go to the rose garden, that my husband planted for me, and cut the beautiful long stems to bring beauty into my home or share with a neighbor. If I can’t do it someday, I will hope someone will bring the flowers to me.
This reminds me that I have a friend who has been stuck in her assisted living during the virus without the ability to have visitors. She tells my husband, who prayers for her over the phone, and to me how much the calls means. It is time to “check in” on her.
Recently, a distant relative, who lived in Canada until she was 105, passed away, but just weeks before, she had made phone calls to family in N.C. To be so caring, I want to be.
I have mentioned in previous blogs, that I have a wonderful, Uncle John, who is 97…soon to be 98. He hasn’t stopped living and still goes to the golf course when a friend shares a ride with him. He even mows his own lawn, but is finding that a bit difficult.
“Keep thinking and moving!” they tell us. Sometimes the thinking is easier than the moving, but we would like to keep both as long as possible! This also reminds me that if you know someone who has the beginnings of Alzheimers or dementia, be kind and patient. As some friends have mentioned, it is easy to be impatient, but remember…anyone can have this disability. It could one day be you. Even they have their abilities…sometimes it is just being calm and cheerful. What a blessing to the care-giver.
A good friend here in Florida still writes poetry and she just turned 90. There was nothing “useless” in these lives. Trusting in God for all His love and grace is the hope of all people as the years go by.
It is also our prayer that parents will be teaching their children, by example and encouragement, the need to stay close to parents and grandparents….never letting their lives get too busy…thus missing wonderful opportunities for shared stories and moments of love. We never want to look back and have regrets or “if only” moments. These Parents and Grandparents will not be with us forever, as some of us have found out. Remember, whatever you life may be at this moment, you are not useless. God has you in His hand. Put your whole life…now and the future in His loving grace. With His presence, you will not be alone.
But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the LORD’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. They will declare, “The LORD is just! He is my rock! Psalm 92:12-15a
As we grow OLDER, our prayer for all is to have a safe place and to be filled with God’s grace for whatever the years may hold.
VIDEO: “The Prayer” sung by a father and his daughter, Matt and Sylvania. Turn up sound.