I recently watched a video of John Piper, Tim Keller, and another guy who were talking about aging (all are now over 60 years of age) and plans they were making to pass their ministries to the next generation. Piper mentioned that his wife Noel had described aging as “A series of losses”.
When I first heard that description I at first balked, but upon reflection realized that I whole heartedly agree. At almost 66 years I know from experience some of those losses. Today I helped to unload a pallet of concrete mix (80 lb bags) onto a trailer at the hardware store where I work part-time. I was disappointed at how quickly I ran out of steam! After about 20 bags in 98 degree weather, I was temporarily exhausted. Yesterday I mowed two lawns and again was very tired after only two and a half hours.
As I mentioned in a recent post, my mind runs ahead of my body. I have all sorts of “want to” but my body often says “an’t happening”. I recently thought about a project I want to start and was all excited about getting on with it and suddenly my body said “Nap time Royce!” and so it was nap time.
The losses aging people have are both physical and mental and I believe one way to better cope with those losses is to just be honest about them. I have to work within the confines of my capabilities, however limited. That being said, I can still work circles around people many years my junior who are not motivated or are simply lazy. But, I can’t multitask as I once did when I ran a busy department for a car dealership and managed 30 employees. My memory is limited, my hearing is waning, and my patience is less available, to put it kindly.
Thankfully, we seasoned citizens have much to offer. Experience isn’t taught in universities or seminaries and wisdom it seems is mostly reserved for the people who have already made most of the mistakes humans are capable of. Don’t write a person off because they are chronologically challenged. I know and have known men who were very useful in their 80’s in their given professions. I know women who are as sharp as they get into their 90’s.
Growing older gracefully, and grace-filled is my goal. I can’t do as much but what I can do I can do well. We are often the brunt of cruel jokes and sometimes remarks meant to be innocent humor are not that to the older person who hears them. So respect me/us as we continue to rack up the losses until we gain the ultimate good, the face to face forever with our God and Savior Jesus Christ.
Some losses I can’t control. And, some things I refuse to lose. I plan to exit (if cognitive) with love for others, with dignity, with honor, with loyalty, with faith, with pride, and with friendships and relationships that I cherish, most of which will outlast time.
Well said my young friend, well said.
Your article is a tender and sweet reminder of the too often overlooked valuable contributions of our seniors. It reminded me of my dad. Thanks for this. I like your blog very much!