Remember when the word senior conjured up ideas of high school graduation—young minds with great ideas, ideals, goals set before them?
What happens to our vocabulary as we age? Now when we hear the word senior, we automatically think of AARP and wonder how much of a discount we’ll get on the state park pass when we hit those magic years. All of a sudden, women are no longer ashamed to tell their age, but actually shout it out as they near the cash register at the local Bob Evans. We envision our grandparents or parents in nursing homes, our children buying us hearing aids for Christmas, our knees creaking as we walk up the steps.
I like to think of entering senior citizen statehood as entering Autumn. Leaves turn vibrant colors; Indian summer is just days away; apple orchards offer the pick-your-own pumpkin fields; open windows in the night allow the curtains to catch the cross breeze and flutter in the shadows of the full moon; fodder shocks symbolize blessings of harvest. Of course, with all the good things, we must also face mice being run out of the fields into our homes; the cold quickly approaching; heating bills rising; blizzards and bleakness descending.
As in most situations, bad comes with good. But the most promising part of our lives’ autumn is the wisdom we have gleaned and the opportunity to digest the meat of the Word of God and share the milk with those who are babes. As Twyla Paris sings…How Beautiful the feet that bring the sound of good news and the love of the King….How beautiful the hands that serve the wine and the bread and the sons of the earth….How beautiful is the body of Christ…we are encouraged and blessed to serve.
How wonderful it is to give back to this world in need, to make a difference in the lives of those who still think that senior refers to an 18-year-old who never quits dreaming. How beautiful it is that as we look toward the future, we can, even in the autumn of our lives, have great ideas, ideals and goals!
And what a great opportunity to be surrounded with young people with whom we can share all that He has taught us.