When I pastored in Oregon, our
church grounds regularly served as a shortcut for kids going to or from school.
Many walked (or skateboarded) down the walkway that bordered our building.
Because the walkway went right by my office, I frequently overheard parts
of their conversations.
One afternoon, I heard a pair of
middle-school boys have the following interchange:
“It’s my mom’s
“Yeah? How old is she?”
“Well, how old?”
“She’s really old.”
“How old?” the one
boy repeated, more loudly.
“She’s 40!” the
answer finally came.
Even then, when I was only slightly
over this schoolboy’s mark for being “really old,” I winced.
The definitions of “young”
and “old” change according to one’s own age. There are other
factors that affect that perception. Forty is very old in some of the Third-World
countries I’ve been in where the life expectancy is in the 40s.
In this country we are looking
at an average life span that continues to lengthen. These extra years afford
people two choices: be old longer, or be young longer.
Relatively young people can act
grumpy and intolerant as their opinions get fixed. And I have met genuinely
aged folks who are definitely young in spirit. One lady in her 80s approached
me after a banquet. “I know a lot of people my age dislike this new
worship music,” she told me, “and, frankly, it’s not what
I prefer. But when I look at young people passionately worshiping Jesus, how
can I be displeased? I think it’s wonderful!”
I’ve also met young people
who have realized how much the older generation has to offer … even
in their music. It is a sign of maturity when people begin to realize how
much people older than they are have to offer.
Young person, there are older saints
who can bless you. Make it clear to them that they are valued and give them
the opportunity to sow into your life.
Older person, determine to stay
young in spirit, and be open to ways in which the Holy Spirit
can use you. God is not finished with you yet.
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