I have arrived at the age in which I now qualify for a variety of “senior” discounts. The AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) keeps sending me mail trying to get me to join their organization. Magazine articles, commercials, and other media want to convince me that as I enter these “golden years” I should be more and more focused on me—my interests, pleasures, and entertainments. Supposedly, I deserve to simply sit back and relax…So sad, especially if I were to apply this mentality to ministering to children and youth. Here is a post from last year that I want to highlight again:
When I first became a grandparent four years ago, people would ask: “How do you like being a grandma?” My answer typically was something like, “It’s great! All of the benefits of having children without the responsibilities.”…A bad answer for many reasons! The most important reason being:
Give ear, O my people, to my teaching;
incline your ears to the words of my mouth!
I will open my mouth in a parable;
I will utter dark sayings from of old,
things that we have heard and known,
that our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.
(Psalm 78:1-4, ESV)
As a grandparent, I have a great responsibility to my own grandchildren, and to the next generation—especially the children in my church. I am to proclaim the glorious deeds of the LORD and the wonders He has done. That is my calling, no matter how old I get! Whether reading Bible stories to my grandchildren and praying with and for them, teaching in Sunday school, volunteering in nursery, being a mentor to a teen, bringing a meal to a busy young mother…the list of possibilities goes on and on. Each can be used as a means to proclaim to the next generation the glorious deeds of the LORD.
Grandparents and seniors: Don’t “check-out” during these years! You have a wonderful and crucial calling from the Lord. This fall, explore how you can invest your time and gifts for the glory of God and the joy of the next generation.
Being reminded of this has tipped the scales for me this week as I have weighed whether I should commit to teaching 1st-3rd grade Sunday school this year. Yes, I am older and yes, it will be a lot of work. But I have been given the great responsibility and the great privilege to proclaim to the next generation the glorious deeds of God (and in this case, through teaching The ABCs of God). And, as far as I can tell from Scripture, I should never, ever want to “retire” from that!
(Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)