I was the new pastor at the church, and a deacon took me to meet a senior saint. She greeted us at the door and said, "I've been wanting to meet the new preacher, and my, you're just a boy!"
I shared that story with the congregation and later at her funeral when I reminisced about the first time I met her. But, it's been a long time since anyone's mistaken me for a boy!
There are a number of lists that make it to Facebook from time-to-time about the advantages of getting older. One is there are no more lessons to be learned the hard way, and another is in a hostage situation, you're among the first to be released!
Another advantage is that other aging baby boomers appreciate the illustrations I use in preaching.
Last Sunday I commented about the time we collected furniture for a family whose apartment burned, and how someone decided the collection point for the furniture should be the parsonage yard! I told our folks our house looked like Sanford and Son. The seniors remembered this program that featured a junk yard in Fred Sanford's front yard, but the younger people had a blank stare in their eyes. On another occasion I told about the prophet Amos, the Southern farmer who went to the North to preach in the city, and likened him to "The Beverly Hillbillies." Again it was an effective illustration for the old.
But there are a number of more serious advantages to growing older. One is wisdom. We seniors gained wisdom from making foolish decisions as young people. Seniors can be a source of knowledge and guidance to the young. The position of elder was important to ancient Israel and to the new-founded church in the New Testament. The recent Christian movie, "The War Room," featured a senior saint who taught a younger lady how to be a good spouse.
Another advantage is that seniors have learned the primacy of family. Many of us look back with some regret we were so busy climbing the corporate ladder that family time so often took a back seat. And the time we now spend with our grandchildren and the way we overlook the messes they make sometimes reminds us how short we were with our own children when they made messes. We can apologize to our adult children, and we can exhort them to cherish the moments with their small children at home.
And seniors can echo the triumphant testimony of King David about the faithfulness of the Lord: "I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread" (Psalm 37:25).