At the end of our worship service today I watched 3 elderly women hobble to the front of our church to kneel for prayer and I was struck by the most peculiar thought. It dawned on me that just because a person is old doesn’t mean he or she isn’t scared. Bear with me because I know this may be intuitively obvious to you. My mind has danced around this realization before but never like today.
As I’ve pondered this it hit me that getting old can be scary on a number of levels.
Fear of the unknown. Unanswered questions.
Does anyone care about me?
Loss of memory
If I forget what I was saying does it mean I have Alzheimer’s?
Will I become too ill to take care of myself?
Will I run out of money before I run out of life?
What do I do with all of this time on my hands?
Where will I live?
When I was much, much younger I thought that somehow we would outgrow our fears. I believed, as a child, that grownups weren’t afraid-that somehow they knew everything. When I grew up I would no longer fear the unknown because I would know the answer to life’s hard questions.
As I watched that trio of women today it hit me that we don’t necessarily become less afraid as our age increases. If anything, life can become even scarier. But as the women moved forward slowly I also thought of how, at least for those few moments, they were not alone. They were there for one another.
I cannot possibly know all that my future holds but I can choose to invest in healthy solid relationships.
My hope and prayer is that I will not waste time worrying about the things that can go wrong but rather be grateful for all the things that are right in my world. I can make a conscious effort to do all I can do to make wise choices in the present.