AND SUDDENLY, TIME BEGINS TO RACE BY!!
Teach us to number our days and recognize how few they are; help us to spend them as we should. Psalm 90:12 (Living)
Do you remember how as a child it seemed like it was 12 years between Christmases rather than 12 months? I vividly recall how my older sisters when babysitting me would suggest that I write a letter
to Santa regardless if it were July and although I expected a rapid reply, I discovered that his time line was quite different than mine!
Yes, when we were children, time seemed to drag and times between events was often wished away rather than savored! Even as we grew a bit older, our days seemed to be without limitation and we believed ourselves to be immortal. As we aged and matured, we reached the point where days and weeks seemed to run together. Ultimately, we reached a stage where we realized we had a shorter time to gather from life what it had to offer and began to recognize that each day is a gift and when we waste a day, it is gone forever. Even though we may not enjoy and experiencing the aches and pains of ageing, even these have their place in the journey of life.
The writer of Ecclesiastes bemoaned the fact that too often our life passes without accomplishing anything lasting or meaningful. Perhaps, too many people spend their time working for and accumulating things that in the end they leave to someone else. During our sunset years we need to ask ourselves: What has our life accomplished for the glory of God? Further, as we have grown older, has our relationship with God grown stronger or are we still trying to amass worldly things? Has our desire for more stuff diminished or increased as we have matured? Surely the recognition of the brevity of life should result in our recognizing the futility of earthly things! This recognition and our growing frailty should result in a greater dependence on Him.
Yet, my experience in living in a retirement community has led me to sense an existence of a quite prevalent attitude of already done that mentality. This can take multiple forms: Freedom from Christian service is frequently considered as a reward for past service in the church and community and the attitude sometimes seems to prevail it is time for the young ones to take over even though their free time is much less than ours and likewise their experience. However, perhaps the most destructive barrier to change in the church and its programs is the observation, we tried that once and it didnt work! Quite obviously if we try to start any endeavor with that attitude in mind, the prediction of failure will surely prove to be right!
Scripture is replete with examples of individuals assuming responsibilities to serve when other would consider them aged. Abraham was 75; Moses c. 80; and Caleb was 85 just to name a few. Further for many, the greatest achievements in their lifetimes occurred in their sixties and beyond: Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, Grandma Moses, Mother Teresa and countless others. Each of these individuals had firm beliefs that the best was yet to come in their lives. How should each of us respond to His call to serve during our Golden Years?