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FAITH: Getting old might be better than you think

Karen Stevens

It’s funny how we marvel at man-made items, but walk right past the flowers, trees, grass, etc. and don’t take notice.  It’s almost as if we have become immune to them.

I have always loved sunsets.  I probably have 2000+ pictures of sunsets on my phone.  I can’t bring myself to delete any of them because every one of them is so unique.

We seem to go out of our way to marvel at the latest architectural design in a city, or to visit the latest exhibit in a museum; we scroll thru magazines looking for the latest fashions, and up to date furniture for our homes.

You see a lot of elderly people that look like they have stopped in time.  Their cloths haven’t changed in 10 years, nor their home.  We look at them and shake our heads thinking, “wow, what happened to them?”  I think they have the right idea.  Not to totally let go of your appearance or your homes appearance, but maybe to see what God has given us as the more important items, and not to put so much emphasis on man-made things.

Elderly people are much wiser than we give them credit for.  Maybe it’s a different wisdom than we expect.

Psalm 92:14 states “They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green,”

And in 1 Corinthians 4:16 – “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”

I was talking with my brother the other day about his daughter.  She is in the process of purchasing a very large homestead in College Station.  We were discussing the fact that our children don’t seem to take our advice because (a) they have already made up their mind, and want to do it their way, or (b) they don’t think our advice is worthy.

We spoke about our parents, and my brother stated that our parents were wise in their era, but things change and maybe that wisdom does not apply to your grown children.  I did not see my parents as wise.  I know they made decisions based on their surroundings, but my surroundings were different than theirs.

I know my father had good business sense because he owned a hamburger stand, a convenient store, and 3 alcohol establishments.  He also owned our home that sat on 100 acres of land, and he had massive equipment for excavating dirt with dump trucks to haul the dirt.

So looking back, I know he was blessed with some type of wisdom.  Back then, I was always unsure how wise he was because he did not trust banks.  He always kept his money buried around the property.  There is probably still a lot of cash buried at my homestead, but I have no idea where.

My Dad was a very colorful man.  I could tell you story after story.  He was also one of those that stopped in time.  The house never changed, the furniture never changed, his clothes never changed, but as he got older, his easel that he kept in the living room always changed.

It always had a new map of Israel.  Or a map of the path that Jesus followed.  He was always learning something new about the past of what Jesus did, or where he went.

My Dad was never the best Christian by looking at his life, but looking back, I can see where he struggled.  He struggled to overcome some bad decisions in his personal and spiritual life.

I could not see that struggle then.

Now I see myself in different struggles, not the same as his; but a struggle is a struggle.  It’s something that each one of us go thru and we must make our own way and find our own path.

Philippians 2:12 states “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

The Bible does tell us that older men/(women) are to be “sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness.”  (Titus 2:2).

I think those who have not allowed God to have His way in their life, over the years turn out to be the fussy old men or women.  The ones that have allowed God’s way – do grow in grace and self-control.

We can get better with age, just look to Jesus.

Karen Y. Stevens, Executive Director, Meals on Wheels