Just Stick with It

By Mark A. Taylor

Everybody’s heard that America is getting older, a fact not lost on me since I and most of my friends now qualify for seniors discounts at movie theaters, museums, and many restaurants. But even though I’m glad to take the deals, I don’t think of myself as old. Old people are 70-something, maybe, or 80; 90-year-olds certainly qualify. But not me.

I doubt my kids see it that way, though. In fact most adults, regardless of their age, define “old” as at least 10 years older than themselves.

I thought about this again late this spring when I was asked to narrate a musical program for the Ambassadors Choir at Mason Christian Village, not far from where I work and go to church. MCV is one of several premier residential facilities for senior citizens created and supported by our fellowship of churches. (You must be 55 to live at MCV. Thirty years ago my wife and I said we sure wish we could move into one of the beautiful cottages surrounding the central facility there. But now that we qualify, we don’t talk that way!)

It’s easy—and too common—to think older people can’t do what we do or don’t feel what we feel or understand what we have figured out. As I watched these lovely people sing all the medleys of Hollywood hits in the concert they had prepared, I realized that advancing age doesn’t diminish a desire for creativity or excellence. As I saw the sweet expressions on many of their faces as they sang familiar love songs, I remembered tenderness and romance isn’t just for those in their 20s.

And I was struck by the faithfulness demonstrated by so many in the choir. One 93-year-old gentleman had taught with distinction for decades at Nebraska Christian College. A lady on the back row displayed the same energy she had given many years to her job as the publisher’s secretary at Standard Publishing. I wish I could have interviewed all three dozen members to learn about classes taught, choir rehearsals attended, funeral dinners cooked, money given, and Christian families nurtured through the years of their service.

I decided we don’t talk enough about just sticking with it. Much that’s accomplished in this world happens because folks get up, get out, and get on with it—faithfully day after day. We can’t all do something great or newsworthy every day, maybe not every year, maybe not ever. Very few get their name in lights.

But people like those I enjoyed one week this spring are examples to all of us just to keep at the tasks at hand, because the sum total of daily faithfulness can make a big difference.

 

You Might Also Like

2 Comments

  1. Sue McHugh
    August 14, 2012 at 8:00 am

    You mention “One 93-year-old gentleman (who) had taught with distinction for decades at Nebraska Christian College”. That has to be Loren Swedburg who, more than 35 years after our graduation, is still referred to by my husband and I as Dean Swedburg. He and his wife were such a blessing to all who went through the doors of that institution. He was not only a professor, but substitute father, counsellor, listening ear, encourager, and they both shared a profound sense of humour. I will always be grateful for their influence on my life, and can’t hear music from Fiddler On The Roof without thinking of him.

  2. September 7, 2012 at 8:26 am

    Mark,

    I appreciated your thoughts in this article. Having moved to Florida and ministering in a congregation with a lot of Sr. Citizens I have seen the same things that you saw that day at the Christian Village. I continually challenge them to do new things and lead by the wealth of their experience. I have been encouraged and humbled by their commitment to God and their desire to do whatever it takes to help the church be strong and healthy. Thanks for your words and insight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *