God Bless Us Old People

Published 1:46 pm Saturday, October 7, 2023

By Michael J. Brooks

I suppose it depends on who’s defining “senior,” but AARP says 55+. Accordingly, some of us find ourselves in that category–even more sobering when we learn that we’re a young nation with a median age of 38.

Some of us seniors are perpetually cranky, but most of us live with a good sense of humor.

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I found this list lately titled, “You might be old if”:

1. You gain 10 pounds overnight.

2. You’d rather sleep than go out.

3. Everything hurts.

Comfort comes before style.

5. You have a favorite spatula.

6. You also have a favorite burner on the stovetop.

7. Everything feels like a chore.

8. College students look like 12-year-olds.

9. You’re always annoyed.

Most seniors also live with a sense of gratitude because we’ve had a few scary moments, such as automobile accidents and health concerns. We know life is fragile. As the Bible says, “Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone,” (James 4:14, NLT). Thus, we’re grateful for each day.

Seniors also have the wisdom of accumulated years. I often think of the old adage about how to make good decisions. The short answer is that you make good decisions after making so many bad decisions and learning from them! So, it’s true seniors have wisdom garnered from mistakes, but also from life-long study.

I remember a senior event at our church just before the Desert Storm war began. Some of my tablemates remembered World War II, so I questioned them: “How did the church pray during the war?”

They told me they prayed for their husbands, sons and brothers on the battlefields, of course. (My mother’s three brothers all served during the war; Uncle Raymond was a glider pilot during the Normandy invasion.) They told me they prayed for President Roosevelt and for his wisdom in seeking to bring an honorable peace.

Then I pressed them a bit more.

“Did you pray for Adolph Hitler?” I asked.

“Certainly,” they said. “We prayed that God would change his heart and bring him to the negotiating table.”

The wisdom of these seniors helped me know how to guide our church in prayer during the Mideast conflict that spring.

Seniors are a valuable resource for our churches. Both the Old and New Testaments magnify the office of “elder.” These were the aged men who shared knowledge, helped in decision-making and decided court cases.

Today we recognize the contributions of both men and women in seniorhood. They’ve witnessed many things and their wisdom is invaluable to the rest of us.

Seniors are a special group and a gift from the Lord to his church.

“Reflections” is a weekly faith column written by Michael J. Brooks, pastor of the Siluria Baptist Church, Alabaster, Alabama. The church’s website is siluriabaptist.com.