Aging with Grace
"With what shall i came before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?" He has told you, O mortal, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:6-8
Recently Virginia Jelinek, from Pennsylvania, turned 73. During the previous year, she had begun to feel life shifting. Her body was aging - her strength, energy, and endurance lessening. She had to give up driving at night. She needed hearing aids, and she struggled with arthritis.
Having spent her life seeking to do for others, she resented these limits on her actions and activities. Grieving and embarrassed that she couldn't do all that she used to do. she wondered, "What good am I at this stage of life? What is my mission now?" Anyone else every feel these thoughts? I wouldn't be surprised if most of us haven't had similar feelings at one time or another.
Virginia discovered answers in Micah 6:8 - words that taught her how to accept aging with humility and grace. They restored her to a mission and purpose, telling her that she doesn't have to do great deeds to make a difference. So, these days her mission and its impact are clear. Every time Virginia prays for justice to reign, every act of mercy she shows, and each time she chooses to put another ahead of herself the world shifts a tiny bit for the good - and God is pleased. The same goes for each of us - each time we do a small kindness or show mercy, the world becomes a little better - and God is pleased.
Prayer: Creator God, when we doubt our purpose, renew our vision. Help us to be faithful, humble servants - doing what we can to make this world a better place, in Jesus' name, amen.