The Beauty of Old Age

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greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
The recent posts on how old people are got me to thinking about a subject near and dear to my heart: growing older.

I am sick and tired of the culture's view of old age as losing everything of value. It's really ridiculous how much people try to deceive themselves into thinking that they can put off death by pursuing youth. I can hardly think of anything that is made more of an idol in our culture than youth and image (except maybe sex, which, of course, goes right along with the idolatry of youth).

The Bible has a rich, warm, inviting look at old age. Proverbs 16:31 says "Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life." When younger pastors are to exhort older men, it is in a different way, in the way of encouraging, not in the way of command. This is part of the obedience we owe to the fifth commandment, not to mention the obedience we owe to the Ancient of Days.

I have noticed that older people become more extreme. If they are wise, they keep on becoming more wise, adding wisdom to wisdom. If they are foolish, they become more foolish over time. Regardless of this fact, old age is not something to abhor and avoid with every fiber of our being. It something in which we can rejoice, as we become closer to God, more holy in our lives, holding less and less to sin, and more and more hungry for righteousness.

There is one category of old people I do not respect at all. It is perhaps the most foolish form of old age. It is that category of people who think that because they are old, that therefore they will stop learning and rest on their laurels. Such people ask for an earlier death. The only way to go into eternity is in striving might and main to one's last breath to serve the Lord. I intend to die in the saddle if I possibly can. I don't believe in the retirement of indolence. If one retires from one profession, it should be to serve the Lord better and more wholly.

And this post is very appropriate on the Lord's Day, since our Sabbath rest still awaits us, the people of God. We don't rest until we're dead. That's our rest.
 

Ivan

Pastor
Amen, Lane, amen! I enjoy being 55 and I see no reason why I won't enjoy more years and serving the LORD all the years of my life. I certainly will retire from Walmart! However, I will serve the LORD in the pastoral ministry or simply as a church member as long as I draw breath.

My church is growing. My preaching is getting better and better. I continue to study. AND I'm running a 5K in November. I will not rest on my laurels, if indeed I have any!
 

DMcFadden

Puritanboard Commissioner
Thanks, Lane,

Ministering to 350 seniors on a daily basis reminds me of both the sweet wisdom of old age and the beauty that radiates from so many older people.

If you want to see what happens to a person when their eyesight, hearing, taste, mobility, and rapidity of cognitive processing diminishes and acute pain and infirmity increases . . . just look at a group of older adults. Stripping away the props of youth, appetite, money, health, etc. reveals what is TRULY within a person. Like the old saw about the sponge: you never know what is inside until you squeeze it.
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
That's good stuff, Lane. All jokes aside. I enjoy getting older. I was raised to appreciate and look forward to the aging of our lives. I love hanging out with my seniors and as a youngster looked forward to being one of the old fellows sitting at the feed store playing checkers, visiting, and dispensing wisdom.
 

JBaldwin

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Thanks, Lane,

Ministering to 350 seniors on a daily basis reminds me of both the sweet wisdom of old age and the beauty that radiates from so many older people.

If you want to see what happens to a person when their eyesight, hearing, taste, mobility, and rapidity of cognitive processing diminishes and acute pain and infirmity increases . . . just look at a group of older adults. Stripping away the props of youth, appetite, money, health, etc. reveals what is TRULY within a person. Like the old saw about the sponge: you never know what is inside until you squeeze it.

Dennis,

And that made me think of a dear lady in our church who lives at the nursing home a few doors down. I think she is 83, but we are all guessing at that. She usually comes dressed in a hat, bright red winter coat (even here in hot South Carolina). None of us knows how lucid she really is, but every Sunday morning she joins in prayer before the service, sings the songs with all of her heart and Amens the pastor all through the sermon.

She greeted me this morning with a kiss on the cheek, and I couldn't help thinking how awful our congregation would be if she wasn't there. A real saint.
 

christiana

Puritan Board Senior
Oh how I love this thread! It just warms my heart! I was so thrilled when McCain introduced his mother who is 96 and she just jumped up to wave at everyone! What a great blessing to have been granted such bright interest in your world at 96!
My friend cares for her mother who is 103 and keeps her interested in all that is going on in the world. Her mother plays bridge, reads her bible and they go out for lunch! Unbelievable that she is so alert and has an opinion about so many things and looks back into such a treasure trove of exciting things over so many years in sharing details of events!
I didnt come to know the doctrines of grace until I had been widowed and retired from nursing. I then read The Sovereignty of God by Pink and was just totally awestruck with such wonder! God answered my prayer for a real church and I've been a member since 2002 and love it and am substitute teacher for a ladies class! God is so good to have brought such marvelous grace to my life at this late age and I so love Him for it!
This week I bought a 2008 Honda CRV and wondered if I'd lost my mind! LOL I love following forums that enlighten the limits of my world and hope to really enjoy life to the max as long as He grants me breath! I deal with some health issues and couldnt jump up as fast as Victoria McCain but I love learning more of the reformed faith, reading through the bible and studying the puritans! I never dreamed I would be granted such marvelous discoveries at such an age! God is so good to us and we thank Him best by being stewards of all He has granted to us!
May each of you be blest with many years of life and learning!! Its great to be 77.
Bruce Ware concludes our Fall Conference tonight on the trinity and I have learned more wonders of how Father, Son and Holy Spirit relate to each other! I love hearing such great words about our God!!
 

VirginiaHuguenot

Puritanboard Librarian
We have two couples in our congregation that have had golden anniversaries, one of which has also had a diamond anniversary. Their wisdom, their grace, their experience, has been an incalculable contribution to our congregation, and to my family personally. The same can be said of my former RPCNA pastor and his wife. What a blessing they are indeed!
 

Mindaboo

Puritan Board Graduate
I have always had a deep love and respect for the elderly. It is one of the things that I love about my church, we have lots of elderly people. They are so kind and sweet, with tons of wisdom.

As a child I spent most of my time with my grandparents. They were my stability in life. I had really messed up parents, if it weren't for my grandparents I wouldn't have been loved or cared for at all. I also had the blessing of having my great grandmother until I was 23 years old. She was a real spit-fire. At the tender age of 93 she took care of my great grandfather (alone), who was 96 at the time and was dying of lung cancer. Neither one ever went into a nursing home, they lived their lives to the fullest. I was always blessed by them. My great granmother came over from England when she was 12 and her stories were incredible. She was always a beautiful person. The sad part is none of these grandparents were Christians.

I also find that most older people either become sweeter or they become more bitter. For some strange reason their personalities seem more magnified.

I love being around elderly people. They have so much wisdom and are truly a treasure.
 

Ivan

Pastor
And that made me think of a dear lady in our church who lives at the nursing home a few doors down. I think she is 83, but we are all guessing at that. She usually comes dressed in a hat, bright red winter coat (even here in hot South Carolina). None of us knows how lucid she really is, but every Sunday morning she joins in prayer before the service, sings the songs with all of her heart and Amens the pastor all through the sermon.

She greeted me this morning with a kiss on the cheek, and I couldn't help thinking how awful our congregation would be if she wasn't there. A real saint.

That is absolutely beautiful.
 

Ivan

Pastor
Oh how I love this thread! It just warms my heart! I was so thrilled when McCain introduced his mother who is 96 and she just jumped up to wave at everyone! What a great blessing to have been granted such bright interest in your world at 96!
My friend cares for her mother who is 103 and keeps her interested in all that is going on in the world. Her mother plays bridge, reads her bible and they go out for lunch! Unbelievable that she is so alert and has an opinion about so many things and looks back into such a treasure trove of exciting things over so many years in sharing details of events!
I didnt come to know the doctrines of grace until I had been widowed and retired from nursing. I then read The Sovereignty of God by Pink and was just totally awestruck with such wonder! God answered my prayer for a real church and I've been a member since 2002 and love it and am substitute teacher for a ladies class! God is so good to have brought such marvelous grace to my life at this late age and I so love Him for it!
This week I bought a 2008 Honda CRV and wondered if I'd lost my mind! LOL I love following forums that enlighten the limits of my world and hope to really enjoy life to the max as long as He grants me breath! I deal with some health issues and couldnt jump up as fast as Victoria McCain but I love learning more of the reformed faith, reading through the bible and studying the puritans! I never dreamed I would be granted such marvelous discoveries at such an age! God is so good to us and we thank Him best by being stewards of all He has granted to us!
May each of you be blest with many years of life and learning!! Its great to be 77.
Bruce Ware concludes our Fall Conference tonight on the trinity and I have learned more wonders of how Father, Son and Holy Spirit relate to each other! I love hearing such great words about our God!!

God bless you, Christina! I love this threadt too. As the the CRV, a gal's got to get around!!

Bruce Ware...that's great. Another good Southern seminary professor.

Blessings,
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Thanks, Lane,

Ministering to 350 seniors on a daily basis reminds me of both the sweet wisdom of old age and the beauty that radiates from so many older people.

If you want to see what happens to a person when their eyesight, hearing, taste, mobility, and rapidity of cognitive processing diminishes and acute pain and infirmity increases . . . just look at a group of older adults. Stripping away the props of youth, appetite, money, health, etc. reveals what is TRULY within a person. Like the old saw about the sponge: you never know what is inside until you squeeze it.

Dennis, assisted living centers and nursing homes make up a good portion of my customer base. Frequenting these places I catch of glimpse of what you see on a daily basis. I see the old and infirmed that have been abandoned by family. My heart breaks. I've seen the negative side of growing older but I also rejoice in what old age can bring. Lane's OP was much needed this Lord's Day.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Ecclesiastes 12:


1Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say, "I have no pleasure in them";
2 before the sun and the light and the moon and the stars are darkened and the clouds return after the rain,
3 in the day when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those who look through the windows are dimmed,
4 and the doors on the street are shut—when the sound of the grinding is low, and one rises up at the sound of a bird, and all the daughters of song are brought low—
5 they are afraid also of what is high, and terrors are in the way; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags itself along, and desire fails, because man is going to his eternal home, and the mourners go about the streets—
6 before the silver cord is snapped, or the golden bowl is broken, or the pitcher is shattered at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern,
7 and the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. 8 Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher; all is vanity.


The picture is not all romantic but pretty sobering as well. Death is always the enemy and aging is the slow victory of death over the body.


But thank God that Jesus makes all things new.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
Along these lines, wasn't it remarkable to see Senator McCain's mother, 96 YEARS OLD,
cheerfully proud and enthusiastic at her son's nomination!
 

dcomin

Psalm Singa
Thanks, Lane, for this edifying Sabbath thread. It reminded me of an experience that my 18-year-old son wrote about recently on his blog...

The Realm of my Imagination: Praise of the Saints

"Those planted by the Lord, shall in God's courts be seen,
When old they'll still bear fruit and flourish fresh and green,
and loud proclaim, 'How upright is the Lord our God
no wrong in Him."
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
What a great thread!

Just today, by coincidence, I read this, from a sermon Spurgeon preached in October, 1875:

It is one of the characteristics of the doctrines of the gospel that, the older a man gets, the more he loves them. I always find that the older saints become more Calvinistic as they ripen in age; that is to say, they get to believe more and more that salvation is all of grace; and, whereas, at first, they might have had some rather loose ideas concerning free will, and the power of the creature, the lapse of years and fuller experience gradually blow all that kind of chaff away. Old saints get what is called a "sweet tooth." The love the sweet things of the covenant; they like their meat to have a rich savor. I am not old yet, but I confess that I get more and more fond of the sweet things of the gospel of grace, and cannot endure the novelties that are so current and exceedingly popular nowadays. Oh, no; tell me of my Father's eternal love, tell me of my Savior's precious blood, tell me of the Spirit's sacred indwelling, and my heart is glad; but tell me anything short of this, and my soul is not fed.

Spurgeon was 41 when he preached this sermon.
 
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