This is a big year for me. Age-wise anyway. I’ll be 60 before the year is out, a number that has forever been waaaaay out there. Suddenly it’s knocking at my door. Where did my life go? How did it pass so quickly? What have I accomplished?
While I’m not celebrating (or bemoaning) quite yet, this verse in Psalm 71 stands out to me right now for so many reasons. My upcoming book, Open Circle, features a handful of seniors, some of whom are dealing with Alzheimer’s, others with the effects of a failing body. But don’t think it’s a sad story, or depressing – it’s actually a celebration of aging.
Our society doesn’t celebrate getting older. Youth is still the ultimate goal – being wrinkle-free, with colored hair (okay, I’m guilty of that one) and bodies toned like a 30-year-old (definitely NOT guilty of that!). Attention goes to those who look and act young, who show no signs of (GASP!) aging.
Or maybe that’s just what Hollywood wants us to think. As I look around my life in Minnesota, I see active, healthy, happy “seniors.” They aren’t being pushed to the back – they’re working, volunteering, serving, biking/running/ walking, taking an active role in the community.
There’s a lot to be said for gray hair and wrinkles – a LOT! It speaks of life experience, joy and sorrow, knowledge, survival, trials, success, getting knocked down and getting up again. Psalm 71:18 says we still have work to do even in our old age – proclaim our faith to the generations that follow, share how God has worked in our lives over a lifetime, continue to do our part for the Kingdom.
God will not abandon us as we age. We have a legacy to complete, from which generations will benefit.
So don’t be afraid of that number (whatever it is). Celebrate being “old and gray.” I’m going to!