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Youth is Wasted On the Young

Our culture is seeking to keep us looking young forever, active for a lifetime, and enjoying life longer than any previous generation.  Youth is wonderful, but it is fleeting.  No matter how hard we work, aging does eventually capture us in its grasp.  We cannot change the process so humor is a great way to address the journey toward old age.  Here are some “grinsights” about the senior years that you may enjoy….

We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress. Will Rogers.  An archaeologist is the best husband a woman can have. The older she gets the more interested he is in her. Agatha Christie.  I don’t plan to grow old gracefully. I plan to have face-lifts until my ears meet. Rita Rudner.  He’s so old that when he orders a three-minute egg, they ask for the money up front. George Burns.  When you are dissatisfied and would like to go back to youth, think of algebra. Will Rogers.  When I was a boy the Dead Sea was only sick. George Burns. 

In Scripture, age was honored.  Patriarchs were seen as noble, wise, respected, and worthy of a family’s admiration.  As people of faith, we admire those that are still speaking, writing, blogging, and teaching in their 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.  Their wisdom and life experiences are filled with insights that we need in order to live for Jesus with boldness in this 21st century.

In his book, Future Church: Ministry in a Post-Seeker Age, Jim Wilson describes what churches around the Country are doing to reach young adults. One of the churches he featured was Graceland in Santa Cruz, California where Dan Kimball pastors—a church that may be reaching young adults, but also values older adults.

In one section of the book, Wilson describes a set of pictures hanging on Kimball’s wall. He writes, “Hanging on his office wall are the pictures of three elderly men, placed side-by-side and mounted in a single frame. On the left is Stuart Allen, the 83-year-old pastor in England that gave Dan his introduction into church life; in the middle is 90-year old Dr. Mitchell, the founder of Multnomah who met with Dan every week while Dan attended seminary; and on the right is his 80-year old father-in-law, Rod Clendenen, who met with Dan every Wednesday night in a mentoring role when Dan first starting attending SCBC.

‘These are guys who made it through their entire lives,’ Kimball says. ‘They finished well. We need to be honoring people with gray hair more. We’re so into just promoting the young, but what about people that walked with God their whole lives?’” (Taken from Future Church: Ministry in a Post-Seeker Age, p. 75-76 Illustration by Jim L. Wilson).

Job 12:12 – Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old.  Psalm 71:9 – And now, in my old age, don’t set me aside. Don’t forsake me now when my strength is failing.  Psalm 92:12-14 – But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon.  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! There is no evil in him!”