Our society worships youth and disregards the aged. Being young is associated with growth, energy, excitement. Being old equates with stagnation, listlessness, boredom.
To this, I say “pshaw!” And so does the bible!
“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The Lord is upright; he is my Rock” –Psalm 92: 12-15
No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
Even if you could always maintain the energy, pep, and zeal of a child, to be forever young would have its disadvantages. You would be missing out on an accumulation of wisdom, knowledge, and fruitfulness. Those who believe that “younger is better,” have a tough time living the “fullness of their days.” Far too often, they experience mature adulthood and retirement as one long subsequent decline. Their best days are behind them, not ahead of them. Those who continue to bloom later in life reject this idea.
One of my favorite professors in graduate school bloomed in his later years. The older he got, the harder he thought. Lodged inside his gray head, was an absolutely sparkling brain. His class exerted an extraordinary influence on his young students – he seemed to wake them up! He taught me a fundamental lesson about the joy of discovery; it never grows stale and people who continue to look for new discoveries aren’t stale either. My professor conveyed merely human wisdom. Christian grandparents have the opportunity to impart spiritual wisdom – the things of God.
If I am planted in the house of the Lord, I will bear fruit. Even in old age!
Those still blooming late in life see that there are further challenges to confront, new peaks to scale. This attitude is infectious, it attracts the young. It curbs the curmudgeon inside us. It reminds us that the billboards and media are wrong. It is never too late to live a brilliant and influential life.
Michael Giles, 29, is the father of one from Lansing, Michigan.
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