Journey with Daniel
“Not Forgotten”Categories: Seeing God Through the Psalms
Psalms 71 contemplates getting old. I once was told that the sin of the young man is lust and the challenge of the old man is apathy. Paul tells Timothy to flee youthful lust, but he never says flee apathy. This Psalm tells us that even as we grow older there is no time to grow apathetic.
Notice the Psalm says, “Do not cast me off in the time of old age; do not forsake me when my strength fails.” Also, “Now when I am old and gray headed, O God, do not forsake me. Until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone is to come.” (vs. 9,18).
The Psalmist did not have an easy life (vs. 20). Yet, the same God that allowed his trials had revived him to an even deeper faith and grit. After all the lamentation, he ends by praising God. “My tongue will utter Your righteousness all day long.” He is saying there is no place to quit.
Maybe it is because I see my parents aging and the challenges that age poses for them. Maybe it is that I am getting a little bit older. Our culture, even when I was young, is in love with youth. I appreciate young people. I really do, but I adore older people. Those who are older offer something young people cannot offer. They have a perspective of life that is important for the younger to know. They have a wisdom that is the by-product not only from many years of learning but many years of living. They have earned the right to be respected. They have earned the right to be heard. We who are younger must give them much deference. We do not know all we think we know.
“O God you have taught me from my youth; and to this day I declare Your wondrous works.” Only one of age can do that.
“You who have shown me great and severe troubles, shall revive me again, and bring me up again from the depths of the earth.” No young person can appreciate that. It is only having been in the depths of despair that we can realize God has delivered us.
I challenge us to raise a voice of respect and gratitude to those among us who are older. The Psalmist said, “I have been old, and I have been young…” Is there a generation gap? The older have been young and now are old. The younger have only been young. Age and experience give a perspective of life that is valuable.
Oh, to be young again. Yes, but I would not trade it for the age I am. Nor, would I trade it for watching my parents and learning from them as they have aged.
- Do something special for an older person (a gift basket, a gift card with a thank you card, etc.).
- Take the time to sit with an older person and ask them to tell you about their life.