Sunday, May 13, 2012

Old Age: Satisfying?

 There are disadvantages in growing old—it’s not for sissies.

It’s a bit like a second childhood, except our children are starting to parent us instead of our parents. We need to downsize giving us less space to manage; we’re selling, not buying, getting rid of the stuff we decided years ago we might need some day, but never have.

We need to reduce our favourite pastime: eating. We are finding some of our parts need assistance or replacing. Our address books have replaced tennis and squash courts with doctor and specialist telephone numbers. We have to think of level floors, no more split level living.

But there are some benefits.

Now we know who we are, we know what we are, although we may not always know where we are. We have settled most of life’s questions, and are secure in our faith—we know where we are going; thanks to the grace and forgiveness of God, and the sacrifice of His Son on the cross.

 We’ve raised our children—as much as that’s possible—and now they are raising their children, and their children are starting to raise theirs. But we need to recognize as one wise man said: we take too much credit when they turn out well, and too much blame when they don’t.

We are now as footloose and fancy free as when we were first married and had no kids. It’s a bit like a second youth: little responsibility, but maybe more influence; little money, but less need of it; reduced mobility, but less need to go anywhere.

It’s supposed to be a time to slow down and reflect on the goodness of God for a lifetime. We will try to do that, but because time goes faster the older we get, and we have less of it for every day that passes, there is an urgency to complete what we feel urged to finish before that final deadline.

So even in our mid seventies, there is still no comfortable rut to settle into. That would be just like waiting to die. No fun in that. So we will continue to build our trail of memories—or litter, depending on your point of view—until we are called home. And each day that passes brings us closer to that goal.

Satisfaction in old age is growing old with Him.

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