Since we live on “this side” of the Resurrection, AH-HA Moments are happening all around us, all the time! The Lord is at work loving, forgiving, encouraging, empowering, and equipping us through Word and Sacrament ….even when we do not know if, feel it, look it, or even act like it! AH-HA Moments is recognizing the presence of a loving Lord in our lives all the time. That is why I like to say that “Laughter is another way of crossing ourselves”, because He is always with us to assure us of His blessings and promises, even, and perhaps especially, when we forget who and whose we are! What a great phrase “AH-HA!” is to remind us to “Lighten up!”. The Lord has us covered, even, and especially, through our “Uh-Oh” times as well!
However, we cannot keep our AH-HA Moments to ourselves. They are meant to be shared and given away to others. We need to seek out people, the younger and the older, to share our lives with and to rub ministry shoulders daily as the Lord blesses and guides.
Those of us who are more “chronologically gifted” than others need to take the initiative to share and intentionally connect more with those less “gifted” in age (!) We need to ‘Age Responsibly” by sharing our gifts of experience, wisdom, and “been there-done that” stories with others as we coach, mentor, and befriend the younger, even and especially in our own household. As the “17th Century Nun’s prayer goes, “Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places and talents in unexpected people. And, give me, O Lord, the grace to tell them so.”
To encourAGE us to be more specific in how we connect with people, here are a few suggested open ended statements to consider beginning discussions with the younger and the older around us. Add your own, be creative, take notes, and learn and listen to each other. Now this is what I call, Aging Responsibly”:
- One thing I like about being older is ………………..
- When I was younger, one person who strongly supported me was _______by doing _________.
- One thing I can do for someone younger than me is ____________.
- Being older is a(n) ____________experience.
- Three characteristics I like about myself right now are _______.
- One thing I still want to do in life is ____________________.
- A main reason that the younger and the older do not always understand each other is because___________________________________.
- One thing I can do to change the negative mindset of aging is ____________________.
- Consider the following “action items” to do in the coming days – call an old friend on the phone just to say “HI”; Send a hand-written letter, or an e-mail to someone, just to say “I’m praying for you.” ; Visit a friend who is housebound and be prepared to listen to his/her stories, which few people are asking about.
- List one or two younger people and one or two older people to discuss these questions with in the coming weeks. Enjoy the conversations!
A final word from Mr. (Fred) Rogers: “One of the famous dignities of humankind is that each successive generation is invested in the welfare or each new generation”
Happy “Aging Responsibly”, in the Lord!