Serving God, Serving our Community

Old Age: glory in the grey?

“Planted in the house of the Lord…. the righteous still bear fruit in old age” (Psalm 92: 13-14) 

Time ticks on…   Years roll by….    Another year, another birthday…   

Where are we?    What are we?    Who are we?

I recently rediscovered the helpful short meditation below in a book I bought on the beautiful island of Iona in 1994 (it’s amazing to think that that was a quarter of a century ago!).   Published by the Church of Scotland, it’s about getting older, which happens to us all of course.  But how do we feel about it?  

‘God of all ages, my birthday is no secret to you, nor are my years.  You watch, unruffled, as from the first moment of life I grow older. I change and thus show that I am alive.  Thus you have made me.  Thus you have meant me to be. Let me have no fear of the passing years, but learn through each of them… 

Those the church calls “an ageing congregation” you call your children. Those the state calls “senior citizens” you call the midwives of a new age. Those whom families call “a burden” you call an asset. Those whose names none remember, you greet with affection. 

Old age is our problem, Lord, not yours.  But on your help we call for the patience and imagination needed to ensure that all who live long might find some glory in the grey’. 

Psalm 90 (verse 12)  provides this excellent advice in a nutshell:   “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom”

Rev Fred Olney