Monday, January 09, 2006

Old Age Is Coming To All Of Us

Do you ever feel like you are a 'stranger in your own land'? Do you sometimes feel the church has sort of forgotten you, that you have been a part of it for so many years, that you are just a 'fixture', and not a true participant? In other words, you are taken for granted.

Having reached the ripe 'old' (and I use that loosely) age of 63, Tim Challis' post today, entitled 'Do Not Cast Me Off In The Time of Old Age' really resonated with me. He has hit on so many points strictly from the Bible where the aged are to be honored over the youth. That doesn't mean we don't need the youth in the church, that they aren't to be used in their own right. But, I do feel most churches today have put the youth above the elderly, in order to 'grow' their church. And, some are reducing, especially the smaller churches, in number, rather than growing.

There are programs designed clearly only for the young. The music has drifted over to the youth. Hymns are no longer a part of most churches' music program. And, that is a shame! I grew up on hymns, a part of every time I went to church. I've enjoyed them all my life. They have meaning to them, and I believe the youth could benefit from most hymns. If a church is going to put in worship songs, they should at least, give a little place for hymns, the songs the 'aged' cut their teeth on.

I have learned in my 'short years' that, as I aged, I now look on things differently than I did when I was younger. As the years pass, I realize that I didn't 'know all things' when I was younger. God still has more learning for me even now. We never get too old to learn. But, I do feel that, when the church is given over to the youth, they aren't given the privilege of learning from the wisdom of the aged.

I believe society today looks on the elderly as a burden. Siblings don't honor their parents as much as they used to do. Society dictates to us what we should and shouldn't do, and our time seems to be in other places rather than on our elderly parents. My mother is still living at the age of 88 1/2, and I give her Godly-living as the reason for that. But, she isn't honored like she should be. I do all I can for my mother. But, she needs visitors. The church seems to have abandoned those elderly who aren't able to get out as they once did. Oh, she is able to drive to church and a few other places. But, nobody from the church ever visits or seldom call. And, elderly people need this. After all, they did make up the church for many years, giving to those youth that have now grown older.

Has the church completely forgotten the elderly in their quest for bigger and brighter things? Or, have they just gotten lost in the shuffle of 'too much to do' in this modern world? I think we all need to take a hard, fast look at what is going on today in our churches. Let us place ourselves years down the road and see where our fate will be, if the church continues on the path it is going today.

I love the youth, and I get many hugs and 'I love you's' from some of them. But, I also honor age and what it means to be getting older, seeing that I am fastly approaching the age of what could be 'rejection'. We don't know what the future holds for any of us, whether it be dementia, alzheimer's disease which is attacking more and more, and not just the elderly, or some other disease which will be our demise in old age. In our approach to a better church, let's not leave the elderly behind, and 'left wanting'.

I want to leave with you 2 scriptures that Tim quoted in his post:

  • Psalms 92:13 Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.
  • Psalms 92:14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing;
Linked at Conservative Cat
Linked at The Florida Masochist OTIM Open Post

1 Comment:

deb said...

Barbara, I thoroughly enjoyed this post! And I totally agree with you. Instead of so many "youth programs" why not have a program called "senior moments" where folks go visit with older or widowed members of the congregation. I also agree with "Where are the hymns???" We are in the middle of this very thing right now, and it's discouraging.