Seasons of Our Lives
Old age is a time to face up to reality. Illusions are taken away one by one, and in a way, we are forced to ponder the meaning of our lives. Death is the great leveler, we will all one day have to face up to this truth, and even if we do not, our demise will still come. It is a hard fact indeed, but one also that gives our lives a certain depth. Scarcity makes appreciation for what we have.
I do appreciate youth, its energy, and the well-being that young people have, and yes, like me when young, took it for granted. How could I not, since that was all I knew. When I looked at those older than me, I never considered that one day I would be one of them. Also, never thought how fast it would happen.
There is for me a lot of adapting, of letting go, and facing up to my fears of losing control. I have taken care of many elderly people (monks) and have learned how it can be done. I have found that the elderly, once they pass a certain milestone in their lives find some deep peace with themselves and where they are traveling towards.
My inner life, and my relationship with God, with Christ Jesus, the Holy Trinity, have deepened in ways that I would never have thought possible when a young man. I have not arrived at any great heights, but all the years of experience, of failures, and successes have lent me to grow in my trust and love of God. My heart while still stone like, is becoming slowly more human, and capable of love, and compassion, that I could not have arrived at on my own.
The greatest temptation we have to face I believe is to not grow bitter, or angry at life. God with us does not mean that he will just carry us, no, it means that he walks with us, suffers with us, and does not desert us when we are old and grey.
It is God who pursues me, has done so all my life, and it is the same for everyone. There is no person who is not the object of God’s infinite caring and love. As Christians, we are called to lift all of our brothers and sisters into the light of God’s love and compassion.
Let go, allow God reality to sink in, and do not fear anything. Trust, which is difficult because it is a choice we make every day, just as it is a choice to become bitter and give up. The latter, as awful as it is, is easy to do. The former as wonderful as it is does take a death to self to accomplish.
So take up the sword of faith and move forward in trust!-Br.MD