I’ve seen it coming in too many of the older people I know and love: Throwing in the towel—giving up or just not keeping up. Not caring about most things. Letting life and limb go to pot. Perhaps you’ve experienced small indications that this kind of thinking is germinating inside your spirit…?
It’s easy to say that spiritually minded folks shouldn’t give up on life. But as we get older, some things get harder, and eventually most everything requires considerable effort, time or energy. Our bodies tell our brains that it’s just not worth the work to keep up with life’s speedy swirlings, and that it’s too difficult to maintain a lifestyle that’s full and satisfying.
So we can start to throw in the towels: The yard becomes a weed patch; our home overflows with miscellaneous broken things. Our clothes need deep cleaning—or replacing. Our friends need our presence. Health and well-being need constant attention. None of these are things that we want to do anymore.
Our spirits—core energies that attach God to us—can also diminish. We can begin to doubt our place in life, our attractiveness, our significance in the larger scheme of things. Those spiritual lights can flicker and perhaps wink out.
What stands in the way of giving up? Two things come to mind: A continuing sense of purpose for being alive—doing what God needs to have done, as only we can do it! And being surrounded by like-minded people—of whatever age.
Sound like a church? You’re right! Gatherings of spiritually insistent folks can accomplish many things. And perhaps one of the most important ministries of these churches is helping us old folks NOT to give up on ourselves, others or God.
So keep at it, friends. I’ll do the same!
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