Yesterday, my wife said to me, “Once you turn 60, you should start going grocery shopping with me. After all, every little bit we save is worth it.” I plan to. Growing old may have its physical downside, but there are certainly some perks—like discounts for seniors.
The other day, I was with Jill at a shop and, apparently, it was seniors discount Monday. The cashier looked at me and, without asking my age, immediately gave me a discount. As I packed our bags, I mumbled something to Jill about her being my daughter, and then shuffled off, slowly pushing our trolley with great effort. Jill and I enjoyed the humour of it all. But in a few more weeks, it won’t be a joke as I will head to the shops, ID in pocket, ready to glean the 5–10% “reward” for six decades of life. Jill is glad she married such an old man.
It is said that “growing old isn’t for sissies.” I’m beginning to understand that. Yet, growing old also has a wonderful bounty of blessings. This is also true with reference to growing old as a Christian. As we grow older in our faith in, walk with, and service to the Lord, we learn that aches and pains also attend our spiritual aging process. We find that “shuffling” may replace sprinting. Yet progress is still made. And that is a blessing.
As the new believer starts to follow the Lord, the path can appear to be one blessing after another. We begin to run the race and, with our spiritual lungs full of the breath of heaven, seem to sprint along unhindered. Though the new convert faces challenges, she seems to go from victory to victory. Old things are passing away rather quickly as all things are speedily becoming new (2 Corinthians 5:17). But then the “morning” arrives when spiritual aches and pains arise. We are taken by surprise. That old sin habit we thought was behind us now seems to have overtaken us. We feel the onset of the “aching” reality that we are a long way from Christlikeness. Sometimes, we feel misunderstood by others, even discouraged that perhaps we don’t have as much to offer as when we were “younger” Christians.
It is precisely at these times that we should remind ourselves that God’s affection for us has not changed. We should reflect on God’s proven faithfulness to us throughout our life. The remembrance of God’s goodness in the past serves as a tonic for the present. Many years of experience provides perspective in our times of spiritual “aches and pains.” Times like we are facing now.
As we continue to live in uncertain times, let us apply the wisdom of those “greying in the faith.” God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). He cared for us before the aches and pains of this pandemic, he cares for us today, and he will care for us tomorrow. As the pandemic continues, we are learning that remaining faithful to the Lord is not for “sissies.” It is difficult. Faithfulness can be painful. Yet as we continue to persevere amid its “aches and pains,” we will experience the bounty of God’s favour.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, let’s keep “shuffling” together. We will end up with a trolley full of blessings.
Growing up, growing old, and growing grateful with you,