Just Backwards ...

…life, that is.

I remember a comedy routine Robin Williams did one time when he talked about how life was backwards. Imagine it.

Instead of starting out at conception, we start out in our older “golden” years and, as we “age” (grow younger), life just keeps getting better and better. Our joints feel better over time, we have fewer health problems, we become stronger and able to stay up later and later. Wrinkles go away as we become more and more healthy looking. Then, when we’re in the prime of our lives—say about 50-60 years in—we are as fit as we’ll ever be, enjoying life as we enter the carefree joy of the “teenage” years. And, as we continue to get younger and younger, more and more people surround us to take care of our needs, until we are finally a baby—a time when everything is done for us! Just imagine! Then, when you think things couldn’t possibly get any better, we are carried around in the warmth of our mothers’ wombs for 9 months, until life ends with…well, use your imagination.

I was rolling on the floor with laughter when I heard the final punch line in this routine the first time. Imagine. If only…

But, that’s not how life works. As we age, life can sometimes be a challenge. For some, as we age, life does get better and better. But, for others, each year seems to get harder and harder.  Finding the joy in life can become more of a challenge.

We may find ourselves more isolated, with more health challenges. We lose many of our family members and friends. We become more dependent on others, even while strongly desiring to remain independent. Our cognitive abilities may diminish, and mobility may begin to erode.

I’ve always enjoyed being with and working with our elder members of the church. I love their stories. I love learning what life was like when they were kids—hearing about the similarities and the differences compared to my childhood years. I love hearing about their faith and the questions about God they still have.

As my parents (now age 95) are dealing with some of the challenges mentioned above, my brothers and I are faced with trying to figure out how to help them, keep them safe, provide the care that they need, maintain as much independence as possible, while we explore options for them. Not an easy task, considering that they have lived in the same home for 64 years.

We are not the first to travel this road with parents. Many of you have offered advice and wise counsel, have offered listening ears, and have included my parents and us in your prayers. We feel blessed to have such a strong community to help us walk this path.

I also remind myself daily, just like I remind others who are walking difficult terrain, that God is with me and will be with me always…no matter what age I am, how frail or healthy I am, how much I remember, or not, how many friends or family members I have left, whether I’m in the womb or in my final days. God tells us over, and over, and over again, “I am with you always.”

With us…always. Just imagine.

In Christ, Pastor Tenny

Need some reassurance?  Check out these verses:

Genesis 28:15

Deuteronomy 31:8

Joshua 1:5

Joshua 1:9

1 Chronicles 28:20

Psalm 73:23-24

Psalm 118:6

Isaiah 41:10

Matthew 28:20

Hebrews 13:5-6

GENEROUS LIVING