On Mother’s Day and growing older
Several years ago, I watched my mother, Martha Davies, become ordained by her church as minister for women. She is 80-plus, a grandmother of four and a great-grandmother of three.
As the pastor laid hands to ordain her, I couldn’t be prouder. I also had to step back and rethink what it means to grow older. If your definition of grandmothers and old age centers on home-baked cookies and rocking chairs, you need to pull your head out of the sand and look around.
My on-the-go mother seldom bakes and only occasionally sits still. The best way to find this busy grandmother is by texting her iPhone.
Growing older is a continual adjustment in our way of thinking and living, but it never means dwelling on the past or sitting in your rocking chair while the world goes by. Barbara Johnson says in her book, “Living Somewhere Between Estrogen and Death,” “Growing old is only a state of mind, brought on by gray hairs, false teeth, wrinkles, a big belly, shortness of breath and being constantly and totally pooped.”
Here are my top 10 growing older fun quotes.
• Old age is always fifteen years older than I am. -Oliver Wendell Holmes
• Birthdays are good for you. Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest. -Larry Lorenzoni
• If I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself. -Anonymous
• Age is a high price to pay for maturity. -Tom Stoppard
• We’ve put more effort into helping folks reach old age than into helping them enjoy it. -Frank Howard Clark
• It is better to wear out than to rust out. -Bishop Richard Cumberland
• Don’t let aging get you down. It’s too hard to get back up. -John Wagner
• Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes. –Anonymous
• The idea is to die young as late as possible. -Ashley Montagu
• None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm. -Henry David Thoreau.
Old age, like anything, has benefits to enjoy and obstacles to endure or overcome, but what makes each of us unique is our attitude.
As a pastor, I continually meet and work with grandmothers and grandfathers who refuse to “act their age.” Here are a few of my favorites from past churches.
When she wasn’t busy with church activities, she’s out performing with her local dance troupe. By the way, she doesn’t do the minuet: this 80-something grandmother clogs. Her biggest complaint is that all the men who want to date her act too old.
At 70-something, she can be seen most any day in a jogging outfit walking around town at a pace that would make younger people gasp for breath. When she’s not walking or out on the golf course, she is taking a leadership role within our church or involved in community affairs.
This couple in their 80s and active in church for years teach Sunday school and sing in the choir. If you need something organized, they are the ones to call. But you would think they just got married the way they do everything together. The new addition on their house is to make room for a new Jacuzzi … those lovebirds.
Years ago, these unique individuals spent nine months in an intense Bible study, meeting for two and half hours each week. All of them share a passion to learn and grow stronger in their faith. Their eyes are firmly fixed on the future and the role God has for them. They possess a wonderful sense of humor and an ability to laugh at themselves. They are all firmly resolved to never give-in to the obstacles of old age.
Paul writes in Ephesians, “You were taught, regarding your former way of life, to put off your old self, to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (4:22-24)
So, put off your old self, to be made new. This verse serves as a vivid reminder to let God continually renew us regardless of our circumstances or our age. What a great promise.
Happy Mother’s Day to my mom. This devotion is written to honor her and every mother and grandmother who fight the day-by-day battle of growing older but continue to make a difference for God wherever they happen to be. Thank you for being a living testimony of God’s love and grace.
Rev. Larry E. Davies can be reached at email@example.com.