A Word on Aging …

A word about aging…


I had a full career as a writer from day one through my mid-40s.  As a military contractor, my employer had access to all the government networks that would eventually become the internet. I was literally in on the ground floor.


That gave me the resume to dare to apply for a job in web design. At the interview, one of the young entrepreneurs said, “but would you be comfortable working with people who are so much younger than you?”


Ouch.


With 22 years in ministry, I’m technically at retirement age.  To me, that would be a long, silly vacation without the funds to enjoy it. “Do you have plans for retirement?” No, I do not.


I was blessed to retire from writing to become a programmer – and yes, I worked for and with people a lot younger than I was. Then, I was blessed to retire from programming to become a pastor. If I ever retired again, I’d be a musician – though I can’t imagine making more music than I make for church.


I am not an old sage. I am surrounded by people more spiritual and committed than I am. They are 30 years younger, and 20 years older, and everything in between. They’ve done a lot of living, too, so I don’t presume to know more or less than they do. I know some things; they know others. We share. It all works out.


Ageism may be the last acceptable prejudice in our society. I’ve had the honor of watching a lot of people age. I don’t chuckle over jokes about hearing, speed, vision, grey hair, or baldness. They aren’t funny. I’m also an adamant supporter of the generations that have followed us. They have their share of deadbeats, but they are otherwise the most responsible, ethical, and intelligent people I’ve ever met.


Jesus’ ministry on Earth was over in his mid-30s. Abraham was called at age 75. Moses saw the burning bush at 40, but didn’t lead the Exodus until he was 80. Samuel was called in his early teens.


God will use whom God will use. God gives us wisdom, sometimes from the mouth of babes. God gives us joy and new beginnings; they shouldn’t be suspect just because they come later in life.


Am I old? Chronologically, getting there. Physically, oh yeah, with daily reminders that the body is a rental that has to go back to the Vendor one day. Mentally? That’s a tough one. Experience has its perks, and its baggage. At this point, I just have to trust that God’s tossed salad needs me here.

God can do something brand new with your life, and it can start at any age. God forgive me if I have elevated myself at someone’s expense just because they were younger or older. We don’t select the year of our birth; it’s as locked in as skin color and gender. We all live TODAY, and none of is guaranteed another day.


I will try to draw good things from the treasure of my heart. I will seek the face of God in every person I meet. I will accept God’s gifts as they share them. I will affirm their dreams and potential. And I will try to not to judge them by age, for by the standards I judge, I will be judged as well.

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