Thursday, November 2, 2017

A New Perspective on Old

We live in a society that rewards youth and disregards age.  It's been that way for some time.  When we were all growing up in the 50's, 60's, and 70's we all ignored this fact...we were young and in the spotlight.  Now the tables are turning.  WE are now the one's being "shuffled off to Buffalo."

There are, of course, many reasons for this shift in society.  Before WWII, old age was far more rare.  People died much earlier than people do today.  If you were, say, north of 70 during WWII, you were from very deep in the 19th century.  You would have been born 5 - 10 years after the Civil War ended.  You were sort of a "national treasure" to be honored and respected.

Somewhere in our lives collective journeys, something radically changed.  That something is called existentialism.  It is a a philosophy that is self absorbed and sees the present and the future as glorious and the home of all hope, prosperity, and improvement.  It also, at best, discredits everything and everyone from the past.  People from the past were ignorant, inferior, and immoral per the standards of today.  If you are old, you are part of the past and responsible for any and all extant societal problems.  It's time for the old to go.

BUT...what is God's perspective?  The Bible teaches us to "honor our fathers and mothers."  It tells us to respect the "gray head."  It promotes the accumulation of both knowledge and wisdom, the things that the elderly have more than anyone.  Perhaps, though, most importantly when God had a job to do He often would choose the elderly to "lead the charge," so to speak.

Moses was not called until he was 80.  Joshua became prime minister of Israel very late in life.  Abraham reached his heyday as a very old man.  David won a civil war in his old age.  Jacob didn't unite his family until his ancient years.  We could go on. But..just what is the point you might ask?

Archdale is a congregation made up of mainly, older people.  Many of us are retired.  Many of us are on Medicare and Social Security.  Many of us are moving slower these days than in the recent past.  HOWEVER,
...we are a congregation with more collective experience, more Bible knowledge, more wisdom and insight...than most congregations.  
Jesus is calling us to action!  He wants us to begin to use the talents He has been giving us over our lifetimes.  He is challenging us to "charge the hill," and not to "go to the rear."  We know more people - Jesus wants us to speak to more people.  We know more Bible - Jesus wants us to teach more Bible, and do it more often.  We have more time - Jesus wants us to use more time for Him.  We have homes - Jesus wants them to be opened up for fellowship.

We need to cease to think that "life has passed us by."  Zig Ziglar used to call this "stinkin' thinkin' " and said that "people need a check up from the neck up."  In a recent interview Justice Clarence Thomas observed that his late grandfather used to tell him; "Old man "Can't" is dead, I helped bury him."  We must change our perspective!  When companies falter, they turn to experience.  When crisis comes, it is the "old diplomat" that is called our of retirement.  When we are at the "end of our rope" we seek out the sage advise of the ancient one.

We must open our eyes to our blessings, our talents, our opportunities, our wisdom, our knowledge, our experiences, our influence, and our abundance as God has blessed us.

There was a song some time ago that expressed this sentiment: "Don't carry your blessings around as if they are burdens."  Senior citizenship is not a burden, it is a blessing and a vehicle for growth, personal growth and collective growth as well!

God wants Archdale to grow, and He's asking us to roll up our sleeves and get to work!

NOTE: Image courtesy of Bing Images.

Russ McCullough - 2 November 2017 - Mint Hill, NC - Share anywhere, anytime, and with anyone!

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