Other people see the persona we present. We are able to hide many things, including bad attitudes from others – but God knows everything, doesn’t He?
That means He knows when I just want to stay in my jammies and write the day away. When the pain in my head, joints or nerves is just too bad to try to exercise on gym day, I think it’s time to find a new way…
If you have sciatica, you will understand that when it kicks up, you don’t always want to go workout at the gym. It feels like a red -hot poker is right beside your sciatic nerve. I’m not always diggin’ on exercise. When it’s particularly painful, as it is now – there is also substantial weakness in my leg. I could be walking and my leg can just “give away” – it buckles! Sometimes I wonder how much more fun this condition will be as I get older. At 55 I can usually work through the pain and do a victory dance when I’m done. Will I be able to do that at 65 or 75??? Well… time will tell.
We’re all doing the best we can with these bodies God gave us. Have you ever wondered if God gives you difficult days so you will slow down and be active in a different way? Maybe active doesn’t always refer to physical activity. Of course, it encompasses that… but people who are not in physical condition to run marathons should not feel that they cannot be used of God. That is certainly not true.
- Active aging may include mental focus. I read an article recently about a senior who lived alone. A veteran, he lived with just one leg. He wanted to make a difference in someone’s life and prayed that God would open the door of opportunity. It didn’t take the Lord long to answer his prayer. A young mother with a son in elementary school lived in the apartment upstairs. They had just moved in. The mother worked 3 jobs to make ends meet. The man offered to have the son stay with him, and help him with homework until his mom got home. He not only helped take care of the young boy, but learned all about the dreaded common core math. Just what we all want to do, right? I’m sure along with homework, the man told the boy some war stories and shared U.S. history with him.
- Active aging may include sharing. Whether you are able to share your time, talent or treasure, there are ways you can share. The church I grew up in had VBS every summer. Through the years, I knew that some of the teacher’s faces would be familiar and some would drop out after a year or two. One senior woman was there every year – our church librarian. Mrs. Little believed that books about the church, it’s beliefs, and God Himself were like bridges that young people could cross to gain wisdom that would reinforce other teaching. She encouraged us to be curious. I used to go into the library just to chat with her. She always had such wonderful insight when it came to recommending books to read. It was like she already knew what I needed to read before I walked in the door. She would not have had to share her time, talent or treasure (as I think most of the books came from her own collection). I believe being church librarian was her passion and she experienced fulfillment in the ministry. As she got older, Mrs. Little was nearly blind. She was not discouraged and had some help, but she did not quit.
- Active aging may include helping. While it’s important to emphasize that nobody should be giving money away on facebook or giving out their personal information to anyone else – EVER… I do think there are legitimate ways to help that are relatively safe. My friend never had children, but read an advertisement for a pregnancy crisis center. She had some health issues such as asthma that made it difficult to exercise much, but she felt led to answer the charity’s plea for help. It happens that she was one of their best counselors and the most patient. She gave rock solid, sound advice to young women in crisis.
- Active aging may include teaching. Seniors know more than young people, and the youth are missing a wealth of information by ignoring what they have to teach them. My friend was a pianist for a church and in a few gospel groups through the years. As she got older, arthritis began to invade her joints, including the joints in her hands. She knew it was a matter of time until she would be unable to serve effectively, but she still had the knowledge to teach children. She said there is nothing more rewarding than to teach and see the “light bulb light up” in a child’s eyes when they understand what you’re trying to teach. My friend, crippled with arthritis, could still teach.
- Active aging may include praying. Last on my list, but by no means the least! Prayer warriors are the backbone of families, churches, communities and nations! Never underestimate the value of a sincere prayer from a prayer warrior. Never think that as a senior, it’s time to be put to pasture. God hears each and every prayer you pray. Even if you have bad knees and can’t kneel anymore… God understands! He made you, so surely He forgives when you don’t kneel anymore. Prayer is humility toward our maker and He looks forward to hearing them.
If you think that Active Aging Week is just about lifting weights or riding a bike from one end of the city to the other… think again. These bodies are so fragile and frail… and they don’t get stronger as time passes. Please know that our Lord is aware of how the aging process works. He is not surprised by it, and I don’t think most of us are either. Just put your life and your body in His hands. He will help you to make the best of aging. I plan to be active as I age, don’t you? 🙂