“Cast me not away in the season of my old age. As my strength abates me, do thou not forsake me.”
The plea of an aged person is to not be forgotten; not to be relegated to the dust bins of the past as yesterday’s news and today but an encumbrance.
Our world’s dismissal of the aged is as foolish as it is wicked. Will not all of us one day (barring intervention) be old folks ourselves? Aren’t we sinning against ourselves; against our future selves to neglect them who reared and protected us once, when they were young & vulnerable?
Churches, I often hear, are filled with grey, white and bald heads. And this is said as a sort of lamentation – as if it were a matter to be sad over or regretful of. So – the smartest people in our society, with the advantage of the accumulated experience that the years provide, have chosen – church? That’s a pretty good endorsement.
The sad part is – if there is a sad part – that younger folks aren’t smart enough to recognize what this means; and they don’t bother to investigate, either, the fact that most of these old-timers didn’t wait until they retired to start going to church, but established the habit early and kept it up.
The psalmist sings about how the aged have a message to confer to the young (Psalm 71). Our elders are not simply a more vulnerable segment of the population (as they were too frequently described during the damn-panic). Older folks have a power within them that is there to be tapped into – namely – ‘what is there to be scared of?’
If you know that your day is coming to depart and be with your Lord, who needs to play it safe? There should be a certain flare & audacity that accompanies old age. Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light. With pluck and panache hold your grey or white or bald head up and show those younger people what they’re missing out on if they don’t get their heads out of their rears and their priorities ordered. Testify!