A recent quote from a St. Arbucks’ session: “Don’t get all weird about getting older! Our age is merely the number of years that the world has been enjoying us!”
Now how’s that about an “Attitude of Gratitude?” Seeing each day as a gift from the Lord, regardless of our age, is a hope-full way of celebrating God’s gift of aging as we model this mindset for others to grasp.
The St. Arbucks’ Coffee Clutch group had a fun time of “playing” our made-up game of asking each person to add a descriptor to the word, “Aging”. Here are some of the responses:
- Aging Joyfully
- Aging Gracefully
- Aging Thoughtfully
- Aging Well
- Aging Grudgingly
- Aging Regretfully
Any that you might add to the list? Perhaps for some, it really depends on how each day is going. Lots of worries about snow and cold? Not a day to be joyful. Enjoying the grandkids? Wow, what a joy-filled day! Sorry for what you said yesterday? Regretfully aging, indeed!
However, perhaps we need to keep in mind that “Aging Joyfully or Gratefully or Well “ is not talking about our day-to-day ups and downs and goods and bads in life. Rather, it is referring to our relationship in the Lord, because of what He has already done and is doing in and through us, in spite of our feelings and failures.
Our definition of “old” or “elderly” may change as we age but our relationship with the Lord never changes! Our words reflect and shape our prejudices and expectations .This is why it is so crucial in these days that we St. Arbucks’ people, and others, model and reflect an attitude of hope and joy and celebration, even as we continue to ach and brake and even fake our feelings and attitudes. As the author Ashton Applewhite states, “Ageism is the last socially sanctioned prejudice”, perhaps because we older people are not modeling and speaking out more boldly about the gift and joys of aging!
Aging well and joyfully and gracefully all involve living honestly. And it is crucial that we embrace the truth of getting older. However, we do not have a good language or “snap chat” for aging that challenges our church and society’s discomfort with it. Check this mindset out by Googling the word, “elderly”. The first definitions we see include….old, mature, older, senior, hoary, ancient, old as the hills, past one’s prime, over the hill, and no spring chicken! Perhaps not intentionally, our society defines “old” in the broader sense with the term “demeaning.”
But it’s only a word, right? What’s the big deal of how we use and perceive “aging”? If only it were so!
The St. Arbucks’ group will continue to discuss these fascinating concepts and mindsets. Why don’t you join us at your own “St. Arbucks’” location?
And in the meantime, continue to celebrate God’s gift of aging, and please do not fall into the trap like Frank Sinatra did when he sang, “Fairy tales can come true it can happen to you if you’re young at heart.” Wrong, Frank, so wrong! Look around you folks – great things are happening to us when we are “old at heart” as well!