Age is a funny old thing! Last weekend I reached a birthday with a zero in it, and it is quite common these days to talk to people reaching older ages who say that they just don’t feel that age. We are generally fitter than previous generations. It is said that 60 is the new 40 and so on.
I can remember when I was younger thinking that reaching these venerated ages would be really significant and mean that I was on the slippery slope downhill, but life chunters on. I am today as I felt a week ago. I think of my parents though, who are no longer alive and consider that my father seemed to me an old man when only in his fifties. I run a couple of miles three times a week, but couldn’t imagine my dad running two yards! But what do we do with this new fitness? There is a big leisure industry which encourages the ‘silver’ generation to enjoy life to the full. Holidays and leisure pursuits abound. Hobbies and pastimes are urged upon those with time and energy. The perfect lawn and flourishing begonias beckon! Of course there is the hard edge where retirement ages are being stretched further and further. It’s a balance between working at a career until you drop over and against a life of leisure, highly active but pursuing things of your own choosing. Some people of course carry on in their jobs because they enjoy them so much and have remained competent. They are treasures. I am certainly struck though by a number of my colleagues who choose retirement. A number of those I was at college with have gone down that route. Right now though it is all happening and I am in a parish where there is a lot going on and the promise of more to come. It is challenging and tremendously encouraging. Quite frankly if I retired now I would be bored out of my skull in a month. This is the thing about the God I serve. He has no regard for age. Take Abraham and Sarah. Abraham was a hundred years old when Isaac, the son of God’s promise was born. Others like Moses and Zechariah were all knocking on a bit, but full of vigour and up for whatever the boss required of them. So with all the accumulated experience of our ageing populations, between us we should be able help make this world a better place, other than just perfect lawns and healthy begonias!