Contributed by Rev. Sharon Farral
“Old!” is the response I get from a dear friend each time I ask this question, then we both laugh. September 7th was her 89th birthday. There are ‘seasons in life’: each season has its joys and sorrows. Sometimes it is difficult for us to accept moving from one season to the next.
Do we sometimes wish we were young again? O, the joy of turning eighteen: we could vote, marry, seek a career, travel, leave the routine of school, be our own boss –freedom. Compare to turning 67. We can draw Social Security, ride the city bus and visit many parks and historical sites free, no more daily work routine, no more setting an alarm clock – freedom. Now, we are mentors, experienced, listened to and looked to for guidance! Does this sound like new responsibilities?
“Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation,” Psalm 71:18. Babies, young people, adults, all like to hear stories, especially when the stories being told are about the life journeys of our families. I have sat by the bed of those who are dying and heard courageous stories. A woman from Russia, as a very small child, escaped uprisings during the years of the Czars. She and her family finally immigrated to the United States. A family in a covered wagon waiting for Oklahoma to become a state kept from starving by friendship with Native Americans. One shared the struggles of immigrants working in the steel mills of Pennsylvania. Tell your story! With technology these stories can be recorded on video and treasured by generations to come. As Christian seniors we must tell our children and grandchildren the power of Christ in our lives. May our witness share with loved ones God’s unconditional love and the joy of living this life to His glory.
“And pray in the Spirit, on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints,” Ephesians 6:18. I remember, as a child, prayer meetings when the elderly in our congregation prayed long, long prayers. With most women today juggling full time jobs, families, time for fun, and yes, even church activities few of us spend much time in prayer. Women who have now passed on spent hours on their knees and wept over the pain of the world. As senior adults we can now spend more time in disciplined spiritual life: praying for our nation, our world, the many crisis and evils displayed on our TV screens, missionaries, our families and friends. Seniors, we must be women of faith and prayer. We must persevere in sharing the kingdom of God. We must set the spiritual standard for the next generation.
As we count our blessings we remember our days are in God’s hands. God has work for each of us to do. We are, indeed, here to be God’s hands and feet. Many, many times I have been blessed beyond measure as I sat with those who are homebound or confined to care facilities. Whatever our age or situation will we begin each day asking God how we can be used to God’s glory.
Rev. Sharon Farral completed studies and was ordained as an ABC minister after retiring from almost 40 years of school teaching. Pastor Sharon visits many who are homebound or in care facilities. She writes devotionals, leads Bible studies and worship services in senior housing, and provides leadership in women’s ministries. Rev. Farral recently served as a guest speaker on the virtual mission encounter “A Time of Grace: Aging and Faith,” hosted by AB Women’s Ministries.