Saturday, October 31, 2015

Old Age Mumblings...

Yesterday I wrote of the futility of fighting old age, suggesting that we ought to use it and make the best of it.  However, I am well aware that old age brings significant and oft times crippling changes to our bodies.  I know that hearts fail, strokes happen, and cancer strikes.  Still, I think  (and I will someday know if it is possible in a personal way) we can use even these moments to  enhance rather than diminish life.  Even in such debilitating situations our “real person,” or “soul or spirit” is alive (and some of us believe that “spirit” is eternal).  When someone asked John Quincy Adams how he was, he replied:  “John Quincy Adams is well, thank you.  But the house that John Quincy lives in is falling to pieces; the doors are falling in and the windows are sagging and soon John Quincy Adams will have to move out of this house.  But John Quincy Adams is well, very well, thank you.”   What an attitude! It reminds me of the passage in 2 Cor. 4:16, “Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.”  

George & Earl who made old age "A Wonderful Life"
It irks my soul when in these golden years (and they are golden) many of us  tend to harken back to an earlier time when things were, we say,  just wonderful.  It irritates me even more when politicians and others suggest that we need to go back to those days. I look back on my youth with great delight, those beautiful yesterdays, when “we caught lightning bugs, went fishing in the creek with our makeshift fishing poles, and knew all our neighbors, etc.” But I did not know back then what I know now.  I did not know then that some people were forced to ride in the back of the bus and use only those restrooms reserved for them.   I did not know about prejudicial attitudes toward Catholics, Jews, Blacks, etc., because there were very few of these folk in my rural neighborhood. I knew nothing of Jim Crow, South Africa, or Concentration Camps back then.  I do now!  Life is always idyllic for children because they cannot grasp and do not have the capacity to see or think through all that is swirling about them in the larger world. We are children no more!  

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