• Joshua Slocum (b.1844), was an American sailing/trading boat captain, who, after many amazing experiences, sailed solo round the world in 1895. He was age 51 when he started, in a self-restored (and destined to be scrapped) boat called ‘Spray’ – trip took 3 years. He supported himself by lecturing along the way and wrote much advice/wisdom from his travels.
  • It would be easy for anyone to get a complex about ageing! Ten years ago I was sent on a conference on ageing; followed swiftly by one on pensions & retirement. Last year I had a big landmark birthday… and sometimes do I feel my body’s struggling to keep up!
  • But Rob Bell says, There is a biblical view of ageing that is at odds with our culture today! Consider people doing things at a great age in the Old Testament:  Noah; Abraham & Sarah; etc…
  • 2 Cor 4.16: Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we may be wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.’   God is renewing
  • For as we age on the outside, God gives us more new life on the inside…!
  • renewed’ in Greek is ‘anakainoo’ – made of 2 words: ‘ana’ = ‘to age’ and ‘kainos’ = ‘new’. So, we have the process of ageing with each day, but, with God, we are also made new (renewed) with each new day!
  • We get newer each day!!??… Is that how we think?
  • The Greek word used here for time is ‘kainos’ (‘new’) which is about God time, outside our laws of physics, it’s about the wonderful redemptive charity of God!
  • God makes us ‘new’ beyond or despite time!
  • Psalm 1.1-3: ‘Blessed is the one who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.  But his delight is in the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.  He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.  Whatever he does he prospers.
  • What’s distinctive about old trees that survive? They sway/move/flex. So, be like a tree as you age!
  • Psalm 92.14 says: ‘They will still bear fruit in old age, they will still be fresh and green.
  • Many things become better with age, e.g. trees, wine, whiskey, artists, paintings…
  • Do we age well? Do we become more flexible with age? Do you sway like healthy growing a tree in Psalm 1?
  • A fitness trainer (training football teams in this country) went out to Asia & Africa to study forms of fitness training from different cultures and found 60, 70, 80 years olds more physically flexible than 20 year olds back home! Why, because they move with the times/culture, rather than resisting it and becoming history!
  • I need to appreciate the views and creativity of those younger than me…
  • And, I need to ask myself: ‘What can people of a greater age than me, with more life experience than me, teach me today?
  • 2 Cor 4.16: do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we may be wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  God is renewing – making all things new!  It is time to pray for something new

Rev Tim Lowe, St Andrew’s Church, Roundhay

cover image from Pixabay
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