To Listen To An Elderly person impart wisdom, knowledge, or advice is like listening to an orator giving a famous speech. The elderly person has amassed a storehouse of knowledge and wisdom that no school; college, vocational, or any other establishment can teach. Like the professional orator who knows where to fit the punch line, the senior citizen knows when to speak and how to say it.
When I was a child, I purposely sought out elderly people to visit, and to talk to. It was both fascinating and intriguing to listen to them. They would answer my most penetrating questions, and if they minded, I was oblivious to it. I would sit for hours, my chin propped on my hands, and listen as they spun tales of old. There’s no doubting the wisdom one gains, especially in a spiritual sense, if he or she dedicated a lifetime of living and serving the Lord.
Proverbs 16:31 tells us that, “The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.”
I Timothy 5:1,2: “Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;
The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.”
Those who obey the Lord, the Scriptures implores us to “Rebuke not an elder.” On the other hand those who adhere to the Word, will “…intreat him as a father.” We will become like a relative; a daughter, a son, or a grandchild. What a difference it makes, when we wake up, and realize that “Senior Citizens Are Somebody!” They have served a lifetime helping to build and serve the country that we enjoy, and sometimes take for granted. Many of our elderly worked in professions that have helped to make life easier for each of us. Many were: Teachers, architects, doctors, surgeons, counselors, and the list goes on and on.
My dad was a builder, and when I go back to my hometown, I stand in awe at some of his works. He left a legacy, and his name is in print, for the younger generation to follow. His footsteps are imprinted in the cement and sand, and his feet held big shoes to follow. But follow you must.
Once again, in referring back to my childhood, one elderly lady stands out in my mind. She was frail, and her skin was so pale, it was almost transparent, but her eyes were lively and glowing. Her hair was grey, and very straight, and she wore it in two braids that hung down her slim shoulders. I would sit and talk to Miss Polly for hours, and she would have a faraway look in her eyes, as she told me her story. And her story became my manuscript, the book to read to my children about times gone by. Her life became intermingled with mine, as she told me about her Indian heritage, and I realized that Cherokee blood coursed through my blood also. What a difference talking to the elderly, the senior citizens make!
Senior citizens, especially those who are Christians, have some invaluable lessons for you and me. They know about obedience and living a holy life. They are aware of the blessings that are enjoyed by those who are obedient.
“For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19).
Senior citizens hold a tremendously difficult task in his or her hands. Many will come to you with questions and advice. Trust God to give you the wisdom needed to help those who will pour out their hearts to you, and through God you will be able to help them.
I urge you to hold your head up high, knowing that through Christ, Senior Citizens: You Are Somebody!
Marie Baker Mason, Phd
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