Lawson writes . . . sharing thoughts and memories

June 14, 2010

What I Want When I Grow Old

Filed under: Uncategorized — lawsonjolly @ 11:39 am

Recently I began to think about growing old.  Of course, by most statistics, I am already old.  However, I take exception that old is measured in years.    I know my body is a certain number of years old.  I can look at my birth certificate or my driver’s license and know.  The body may be calculated to be some many years old, but how do you plot the age of the human spirit?

I know my body is not the same as last year, or 50 years ago, or even 75 years ago!  But what about the spirit within me?  How does it match up to my current body age?  My body does not keep up with my spirit.  The age of my body has much to say about activity.  The Biblical expression, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,”  describes well most of my days.  But do I surrender to the flesh?  Not on your life!  I do some compromising of course.  I have to adjust some of my activities and tasks because of a lack of physical endurance, but that never means I have to adjust my mind, my intentions, or my positive outlook.

All of this has led me to look at what I want when I do grow old!  And I suppose I will one day!  There could come a day when I am unable to do the tasks I do today.  I will be seen as an “old” person!  So, what do I want when I am seen as an “old” person?  Here are four things I want.

One, I do not want to be someone who others want to avoid.  I desire to keep my mental attitude so that I will be in control of my behavior and attitude.  This is not to imply that “old” people are critical, mean, or sour.  I just don’t want to be one who makes other people wish they were not around me.  I want to be a positive present when around family and friends. The last thing I would want to be remembered for was that I made other people miserable.

Two, I do not want to be a burden to my children.  As with so many older adults, the children lovingly care for the parent.  However, for many children it becomes a responsibility that can drain them  financially, emotionally, and time wise.  I understand that this is not a factor about life that most of us can control, but my desire is that resources are available for adequate care where my children can continue to live their productive and planned lives.

Third, I do not want to become ignored.  That is to say, I do not want to be overlooked or unacknowledged.  It is easy in our society to ignore the elderly.  It does happen.  It can happen in a store.  Perhaps not intentionally, but a clerk can give more time and attention to a younger customer because they dont’ feel the older customer will spend much money.  I don’t want to be invisible in the sense that others feel I have nothing to offer.  Even if physically able to preach, it is easy for others to assume that I am out-of-touch, and any counsel or advice I have is for past generations  

And lastly, I don’t want to be seen as one who has no reason to live.  Perhaps, some of you folks who are “not so young” might think on these things.  I will give you a word that I hope will describe me when I  become an “old” person.  It is the word luminous!  I may be expanding the meaning of the word somewhat, but I define it as “giving off bright light; flooding the surroundings with light.”

Luminous!  That’s what I want to be as I grow old.  I want to be seen as one who has a passion for life.  Or as some might say, “There’s still fire in that stove!”   Maybe I cannot add years, but I can add life to my years!  Stick around young folks, watch me grow old with passion!

“Is not wisdom found among the aged?  Does not long life bring understanding?”  (Job 12:12)  “So I commend the enjoyment of life . . . .  Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun.”  (Ecclesiastes 8:15)  “However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all.”  (Ecclesiastes 11:8)



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