Remember in high school when being a Senior was considered the best thing possible? You just couldn’t wait to be a senior….all the power, all the freedom, all the glory. Well, here I am. I am a Senior. Now, I’m not a Senior Citizen. Medicare says a Senior Citizen is 65 years old and Social Security says 62 though they claim retirement age is 67. My husband and I will never forget that on our honeymoon in England there were different entrance prices at an event: Adult, Child, and OAP. What’s an OAP? An old aged pensioner. 🙂 I’m not sure if they have gotten more politically correct in Great Britain, but around here people my age are called Seniors. Last week, we went to Shot In The Dark mini-golfing. I walked up to the cashier and said, “4 Adults” and my sister in law piped in, “4 Seniors. We are all Seniors.” I didn’t even notice that Senior was 55 at putt-putt golf. I guess the glory in being this kind of a senior is that we saved $8 on the round of golf!
I am a Senior and though I often find it hard to recognize the benefits, I do see some. I really do feel a bit wiser than someone in their 30’s. I really don’t have the same level of stress as young parents. I don’t even have the same level of responsibilities. At this point, I only have one child to look out for. I can’t even believe that at one point, I was responsible for 5 lives at the same time! Whew! So, there is some freedom in being a Senior.
My husband and I were watching a movie the other evening and it had a room full of Seniors in it and they were complaining that there was a situation that they could do nothing about. Finally, one of the men said, “We have over 500 years of life experience sitting here, we should be able to figure something out.” So, my husband and I chuckle now and say, “We have over 100 years of life experience, we should be able to figure this out.” It is true, we do have life experience and we should be putting it to good use.
I’ve heard people say things like, “I paid my dues,” and “been there, done that” about things as they age and I want my fellow Seniors to be careful about these words and these attitudes. I am as guilty as the next guy in some respects, especially in my service to the church. I am so over Vacation Bible School. I remember years of cutting construction paper and doing hand motions to songs. It used to be a 2-week event and it was held for 3 hours every morning. You only had to utter, “It’s VBS week” and people knew not to expect you to be able to do anything else. I have “been there, done that” and quite honestly, I don’t want to do it again, but I think as a Senior, I can do something different.
This year I retired as Christmas Pageant Director. I’ve held this position for a while with incredible support staff. I sincerely enjoy the kids and I honestly think I will miss my role next year. And, just as I announced my “retirement” from that position, I recognized that I can’t just quit, I have to find something to continue to serve. I think that is what we all need to do. As we age, and as our responsibilities change, we need to let go of some things to allow others that opportunity, but we also need to pick up something different that suits our new season of life. So, if you aren’t interested in teaching a Sunday School class of 8 kids, maybe you could just take a moment to recognize 1 kid each Sunday and make them feel special. If you don’t want to lead a Bible Study weekly, maybe you could invite someone over for a cup of tea and some godly discussion. If you aren’t physically able to shovel the walks like you used to, maybe you could make some calls to help find someone who could. There are positions and needs for all skill levels and abilities in the church, you just need to prayerfully find the one that suits you best.
I think there is power and freedom in being a Senior…I’m not so sure about the glory part, but I must admit that I had fun playing glow in the dark mini golf for $2 less than the lady behind me…even though I complained that I couldn’t see very well in the dark!
They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, –Psalm 92:14
Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?
— Job 12:12
Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died, yet his eyes were not weak nor his strength gone. — Deut 34:7