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.