For some of us life is all over with retirement. We just continue to live in the past; we just exist, waiting for the final “home call”. How many of us really enjoy life as a senior citizen? This could indeed be the beginning of a new and exciting phase of life. Our Father in Heaven has made ample provision for his children to enjoy life to the fullest at every stage. The Scriptures tell us that they “flourish” and “bear fruit” even in old age. Psalm 92:14.In fact we have reached a stage which is the pinnacle of life on earth. How many of us thank God for the tremendous wealth of knowledge, wisdom and experience that we have acquired over the long years of life? We might have developed faltering steps and wrinkled faces; but our hearts are young and strong. That gray patch of hair on our heads is a crown which is a sign of honour. “ Though our outward man is decaying, yet our inward man is renewed day by day.” ,2 Cor. 4:16.
Many of us have come through the ‘thick and thin’ of life. Many in the present generation find it difficult to understand that we had to literally “burn the midnight oil” with those old kerosene lamps during our early school days. We had to walk miles to school- sometimes our grandfathers accompanying us. Inthis digital era it is very difficult for the youth to know that the only radio receiver in the village in those days was at the village community library. Thank God for many such stories of those “good old days” learnt from our successes, failures, set-backs, joys and disappointments that we can share with our grandchildren.
But sadly for many of us, a spirit of despondency and uselessness sets in. We become irritable and grumpy, overcritical of the younger generation. We attribute all ills of the present day society to the youth, without realizing that many of those ills were passed on to them by the elder generation. Often we develop a sense of false pride. We complain about our aches and pains and loss of memory. Some of us live under a tremendous weight of guilt because we feel that we messed up in our earlier years. So instead of enjoying, we are tolerating life. True, we might have messed up in the past, but we can do better starting from now. It is never too late for a fresh start. All is not lost. These can be the golden years of our life.
There’s a lot that we could positively contribute today; but we need to change our “receiving” mindset into a “giving” mindset. Let us remind ourselves that the older generation has a tremendous responsibility to the younger generation. We should never allow those treasures of wisdom and experience that God has deposited in us to go waste. The younger generation needs us. If we are open to the voice of the Holy Spirit, He will show us a lot of opportunities wherein we could be of valuable service to Family, Church and Society.
Added to the wealth of experience, talents and skills, we have a lot of free time at our disposal; we do not have bosses to report to, no office hours; we have no deadlines. Some of us have material resources that could be used in the service of the Kingdom.But more than anything else, like Simeon and Anna of old, our prayer has the potential to impact the Church and society to a great extent. Every department of the church needs our prayer. Missionaries out in the field need our intercession; our nation and the situation in the world cry for people to stand in the gap. Our families and children need our prayers so desperately.
We have ample examples of seniors in the Scriptures who were greatly used of the Lord. Moses was called for ministry at that age of eighty; the last forty years of his life were the best years. BothJoshua and Caleb were mightily used in their old age. Some of the Apostle Paul’s greatest ministry was done in his old age. We may be retired from government service, but there is no retirement in the service of God. Let us echo the prayer of the Psalmist, “Now also when I am old and gray headed, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.”, Psalm 71:18.