Happy Pentecost, be filled with the Spirit!
Someday soon, I will be turning seven decades old, 50 years ago, I did not believe anyone could be that old, but it happens! There is an observation that people are not as old as they used to be at age 65, let alone 70. My dad was 67 when he died and I was only 29 at the time. He was quite active and vital up to his death, I really thought of him as being “old.” Not so today! Now that I am almost 70, I do not see myself as old at all. Sure, some of the parts are showing wear and I find myself moving a tad more slowly than I used to, but I am pleased to say I think I have many years ahead of me.
I am fascinated by the number of people in our parish who don’t act their age, the term “old” does not apply because they are young at heart. These folks are a really force in my life and the life of the parish! A mighty force for good! So many people are using their gifts and talents to serve others and move us forward as a faith community. It is a blessing, inspiring and affirming to be travelling in such great company.
We are not alone, advanced age doesn't mean a lack of effectiveness, consider the great accomplishments made by people over the age of 60. Here is a short list.
- Katherine Graham...first woman publisher of the Washington Post and Pulitzer Prize winner - Age 80. (Do see the movie “The Post”)
- John Glenn... first man to orbit the earth in the early 60's. 30 years later blasted towards the heavens after challenging physical practical exercises - Age 70+.
- Jimmy Carter…inspiring work with Habit for Humanity - Age 93!
- Recently deceased Billy Graham preached to greater multitudes than anyone else alive – Age 80+.
- Pablo Casals... when asked by a young reporter "Why do you still practice 6 hours a day"? He said, "Because I'm making progress". Age - 95+.
- Ronald Reagan...elected President at age 70. He completed 2 terms as President. Credited with ending the cold war and renewing confidence in enduring American values, he died at 93.
- Mother Teresa…received the Nobel Peace Prize for her work with the poor of Calcutta - Age 69.
- Then of course, there is our Pope Francis! He continues to inspire our church and the whole world Age - 81!
So if you’re feeling like being “old” is a step away from the grave, shrug off that evil thought, shake off the dust and get “out there” and be person that God has created you to be. The world needs your wisdom and experience!
Let us continue to pray for peace in our world!
In peace and courage,