Psalm 92:14 NLT
'Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green.'
Living with Mum, I find myself contemplating my own ageing process in greater detail. Her resilience is amazing as she struggles with what we might term the everyday details of living. Rising each morning to wash and dress takes time. Mobility is challenging as she moves cautiously through the house with her frame. And as I observe her sitting at the table gazing into the middle distance, I observe a measure of sadness and resignation in her face and posture. It has made me seriously consider my own journey with age.
Talking with others older than me, I come across their apparent disappointment in the repetitive nature of each day. It’s as if there is so much willingness to contribute and participate, yet so few obvious opportunities. I regularly lead retreats; over lunch and refreshments, many express their frustration that age appears to exclude them from playing any useful part in a Church that considers young people and families their priority. It’s as if a whole segment of society is abandoned to its own devices, cut loose in a sea of confusion with little support.
Great resilience is demonstrated by many as they age, yet there are limited opportunities to continue in practical service. Certainly the scale and scope may be reduced due to tiredness, arthritic joints and lapses in memory. Yet, nothing dims the hard-won lessons of experience and there must surely be a place for the battle-scarred to make a useful contribution to social cohesion.
I’m content with my life, pleased with how I have pushed through to today, yet unwilling to go too much further if daily life is a mere repeat of what I experienced yesterday, last week and last year. Someone recently asked me how I was feeling. I paused to reflect and I said, “I am content.” And so I am, for I feel I have contributed my best and recognise that there is not anything that calls me forward or awaits my attention. Finding my orchard in which to be fruitful for a fresh season is somewhat elusive. My resilience in life may be diminishing, I fear.
QUESTION: In what way is your life fruitful? How can you nurture that aspect?
PRAYER: Lord, let all your children of every age find their place to bear fruit for your kingdom.