The older I get, the more I realize that getting old is not easy. The golden years are more like molding years, more rust than gold. Many of the activities that I used to do, I judge now on how far I have to walk, how many stairs are involved and where the closest bathroom is. One of my sons stopped by this morning to tell me that the steelhead run is the best in over 30 years and we should go out my favorite hole and pick up a few.
My mind didn’t focus on the great fishing I have experienced in years past, but on the long climb down a steep hill and the aching that would go along with standing in the river for a few hours and the pain of climbing back up that rocky hillside.
I find that we seniors make a lot of decisions based on what we can’t do rather than what we can do. I can’t ski like I used to ski and I can’t run the way I ran as a youth. I can’t hear or see the way I did 50 years ago. I can’t hike up the mountain trails the way I did a few years ago and I can’t go out for a late meal any more. My dining out now seems to revolve around early bird specials or two for one dinner deals.
But, my mouth works and I can smile at everyone I run into. I can find something nice to say about everyone I see. I can listen with an intent ear and even when a hurting friend talks so low I can’t hear the words, I can nod and share the hurt I see.
I know that we may often be in too much of a hurry to get back to the comfort of our home and favorite chair to make eye contact with the clerk at the grocery store or the waitress at the restaurant but I promise you that if you do that one simple thing, your life will change for the good and the gold will begin to shine through the rust.
As Christians, we need to call upon the Lord to give us an abundance of His spiritual gifts so that we may use them in loving all our neighbors as ourselves. In our conversations with the Father, we need to ask Him to place us where He could use us as His hand, extended. Place us where we can pass his gift of love through us to the ones who need it.
The Bible calls us to be 18Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Eph 6, KJV
Try it the next time you run those errands that take you around the neighborhood. It will bless you and those whose paths you cross. Then watch out. God will begin to use you as his local office and when you walk into a place, the people will already be smiling.