Only the Young are Healthy

Youth
One of the gyms I visit regularly is covered with inspirational murals. While the gym serves people of a variety of ages (many are decades older than I am), not one of those images reflects someone over thirty years old. Photo by Tim Graves. 

Only the young are healthy. Only the young are worthy of respect. Admit it, the older burden and annoy those who are doing the real work. They play their TVs too loud or keep closed captions on (as I do). They don’t understand modern technology or culture. They wear frumpy clothes and walk too slowly to keep up.

 

True. They can be amusing in their quirks, forgetfulness, and their little dances. (Google “old people dancing” if you don’t believe me.)

If I were to believe the dominant images of western culture, I’d believe all of this and more. I wouldn’t value the men and women with whom I minister in rural eastern Oregon. I’d detest my father, my sister, and even my younger brother. I might even divorce my wife because she’s not twenty-something.

I wouldn’t value myself. I’d be panicked about the worthlessness of my very existence as I approach yet another birthday.

Sigh. The truth is sometimes I do feel unworthy. It is hard not to feel less-than when you’re told you are no longer needed.

Thing is, there is not one experience I’ve had that I would give up to gain a year or two. Each of my adventures — the challenging and the exhilarating  — have made me who I am, and I like me.

Yep, I like me! Not only do I have awesome memories and experiences but I have so much more to do. I have dreams, new ideas, and creative abilities that will yet benefit my corner of the world. I am am not closed minded. I grow and change. Daily.

I am valuable. I have feelings, heart, and mind and so I won’t let our culture’s negative images about aging stop me from becoming who I was created to be. And if someone else finds my little dances funny, they should quit spying on me.

They will bear fruit even when old and gray;
they will remain lush and fresh in order to proclaim:
“The Lord is righteous.
He’s my rock.
There’s nothing unrighteous in him.” Psalm 92:14-15 CEB

 

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