Full of Years

If you value people who are older—and also your own aging—these entries will help you rejoice in the fullness of this stage of life: its gritty realities, secret joys, hidden spirituality and cherished moments—reasons to be grateful that old age is always a gift from God!

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Oldsters and youngsters

  (The following entry features the insights of students in the Language Arts and Humanities Class at Briar Glen School in Glen Ellyn, IL. My thanks to these thoughtful youngsters for their wisdom about oldsters!) I recently had the opportunity to talk with a small group of fifth graders about the benefits that come to youngsters and oldsters when they interact with each other. TheMORE...

Simple advocacy: A story for older adults

  Advocacy is a good thing. And most advocacy—speaking on behalf of others who may not have a voice—happens close to home. It’s not complicated; our personal powers can be brought to bear on matters familiar to us. The following story illustrates how that worked in my own life. For several years I was on the Cancer Patients Advisory Board for a large medical group in my locale. Our specificMORE...

When oldsters congregate

  Normally I don’t suggest separating out cohorts—age, gender, interest—in a congregation. My default philosophy runs in the opposite direction: We learn, grow, prosper and bless each other when all of us are joined together in our work as God’s people. Recently, though, I had the experience of being with a large, day-long gathering of older adults, all assembled in one place for mutualMORE...

The deteriorating shower house

  Our mountain home’s shower house is falling apart. Granted, it’s over 75 years old and has been in gradual decline for several decades. But older buildings shouldn’t just deteriorate like that—they’re supposed to be a symbol of stability and permanence in a world that always seems to be disassembling itself. To be direct: I don’t like to see this legacy building—on our family’s heritageMORE...

Renewing old congregations

  If you’re an (older adult) leader in an (older adult) congregation, you want your congregation to stay strong and vital. Here I’d like to share with you the possibility that your congregation could continue to exist—even thrive—precisely because of the presence and passions of older members. To say that another way: Just as fullness of years is possible for each of you personally, so thisMORE...

Too soon we grow old…

  Now that I have your attention—perhaps you were thinking that this entry would offer a plaintive sadness about the slow departure of youthfulness?—let me come clean: What I really hope we can think about together is the second section of the Pennsylvania Dutch aphorism: “Too late we grow smart!” While the first part of the saying is always true—who can avoid the inevitability of aging?—theMORE...

They deserve to know….

  It’s likely that your life has been packed with the blessings given to you by mentors, coaches, teachers, sponsors, counselors, pastors, youth group leaders, employers, supervisors and other people who helped you become who you are today. They deserve to know how their investment in your life turned out! Few of these individuals expect to know the eventual results of their efforts on yourMORE...

Spirituality and chronic illness

  For several years I’ve been working with an occupational therapist on the question: How could spirituality re-emerge as a vital part of this profession? This entry examines one part of that search: How might chronic illness diminish a person’s spiritual self? (Also implied: How might spirituality help diminish the debilitating circumstances of a chronic illness or disability?) SomeMORE...

Whatever happened to…?

  A few years back, my high school graduating class celebrated our fiftieth anniversary with a reunion. It was a fully satisfying event, and I came away full of gratitude for these folks—who they were back then and who they are now. During the get-together, we wondered about the classmates that weren’t with us, and what has transpired in their lives. “Whatever happened to (fill in theMORE...

Celebrating older birthdays

  Some older adults I know profess a lack of interest in celebrating their birthdays in any significant way. This attitude may come from their feeling that there’s not much to celebrate once you come to a certain age plateau. So it could seem pointless to observe a birth anniversary—“It’s just not that important how old I am.” Other possibilities: Not wanting others to make a fuss about youMORE...

Bob Sitze

BOB SITZE has filled the many years of his lifework in diverse settings around the United States. His calling has included careers as a teacher/principal, church musician, writer/author, denominational executive staff member and meat worker. Bob lives in Wheaton, IL.

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