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December 18 – Getting Old and My Mother’s Birthday

Ephesians 4:17-24

Years ago, I watched my mother ordained by her church as a minister for congregational care. She was 80+, a grandmother of four, and a great-grandmother of four. As the pastor laid hands to ordain her, I had to step back and rethink what it meant to grow older. If your definition of grandmothers and old age centers around home-baked cookies and rocking chairs, you need to pull your head out of the sand and look around. My on-the-go mother seldom baked and only occasionally sat still. The best way to find this busy grandmother is to send a text to her iPhone.  

Growing older is a continual adjustment in our way of thinking and living, but it never means dwelling on the past or sitting in your rocking chair while the world goes by! Barbara Johnson says, “Growing old is a state of mind, brought on by gray hairs, false teeth, wrinkles, a big belly, shortness of breath and being constantly and totally pooped.” Old age has benefits to enjoy and obstacles to overcome but what makes each of us exceptional is our attitude. Here are a few grandmothers and grandfathers who refuse to “act their age.” 

When she wasn’t busy with church, she performed with her dance troupe. This eighty-something grandmother clogs. At Seventy-something, this grandmother can be seen most any day in a jogging outfit walking around town at a pace that would make younger people gasp for breath. When she’s not walking or out on the golf course, she is taking a leadership role within our church or involved in community affairs. 

This couple in their eighties were active in church for years, teaching Sunday school and singing in the choir. If you need something organized, they are the ones to call. But you would think they just got married the way they do everything together. The new addition on their house was to make room for a new Jacuzzi: those lovebirds! 

These unique older individuals spent nine months in an intense Bible Study, meeting for two and half hours each week. All of them shared a passion to learn and grow stronger in their faith. Their eyes were firmly fixed on the future and the role God had for them. They possessed a wonderful sense of humor and an ability to laugh at themselves. 

Paul writes: “You were taught, regarding your former way of life, to put off your old self, to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24)

So, put off your old self to be made new! This verse serves as a vivid reminder to let God continually renew us regardless of our circumstances or our age. What a great promise! As I write this, my mother is celebrating 92, only recently retired as a congregational care pastor, still driving to church and still texting on her iPhone.

Prayer Challenge: How can you honor that special older person in your life?