What’s in a name? That’s something you hear over and over, but right now I’m thinking, “What’s in a number”?
You see I’ve just reviewed a topic in my Stephen Ministry manual and it generated a lot of memories for me. This session covered Christ care to those “experiencing losses related to aging”. Insightful and thought-provoking it helped me view issues some people face as they age; all those areas that are relinquished as we grow older. “I must be getting old” was the phrase I read repeatedly in module 21.
That was never a phrase in my grandmother’s vocabulary. To my grandma Hattie, age was simply a state of mind. I recall the time my mom took grandma for a check-up. “Why do I have to see a different doctor?” was her question. Irritated by the explanation that her former physician retired, she stated, “Why would he want to retire? He’s younger than I am!”
Then there was the time that a bone fracture in her leg forced grandma to spend 6 weeks in assisted care. After dismissal she confessed it might be difficult walking down the church aisle and navigating the several steps up to the communion rail. My mother calmly explained that she could sit with some of the other ladies in the front pews and have Pastor “come down” to give her the bread and wine. Offended at the suggestion her reply was: “Good grief. That’s where the old people sit!” Grandma was 82.
So I ask. What’s in a number? What constitutes age? How old is old? Some people are old in their 30’s; others are young in their 90’s. I offer my friend Erle who recently moved his mother at the age of 100 to assisted living versus the young woman at my gym who lamented not being 21 any longer.
Is age a state of mind? Yes, I acknowledge that there may be health issues over which we have no control and physical issues may challenge us all, regardless of the “number” in our years. So truly some days we can “feel” older than our years. While I am not looking for the fountain of youth; seriously how many of us want to go back to our teens or 20’s? Come to think of it, some of our bloggers are there, (no disrespect intended), but I want to grow older, not necessarily old. There is a difference.
Like the lyrics of the song I want to get a head start by being young at heart. So I attempt sensible approaches to eating, exercise, resting .That goes for my spiritual side also. On the physical level, I may not always choose the good meal, hit the gym, or achieve 8 hours of sleep, but I start the morning with prayer and devotions. Getting into the scripture, devouring God’s message to me is both food for my soul and exercising my faith muscle. And throughout the remaining hours I try to rest and meditate on God’s gift to me of another day experiencing His creation, the friends and family He has entrusted to my keeping and the grace of His presence.
If you haven’t already, I invite you to participate in the Jerusalem Journey. As we travel this Lenten season. this is one more faith exercise that allows me to track my physical as well as my spiritual miles and holds me accountable to my Creator for this life and each day lived, knowing He is the one who sustains and rescues me when I fall short, when I fall down or collapse in a heap; lifting me up to start anew.
Isaiah 46:3-4The Message (MSG)
3-4 “Listen to me, family of Jacob,
everyone that’s left of the family of Israel.
I’ve been carrying you on my back
from the day you were born,
And I’ll keep on carrying you when you’re old.
I’ll be there, bearing you when you’re old and gray.
I’ve done it and will keep on doing it,
carrying you on my back, saving you.
Blessings as you ponder and grow older in His love. Doneta