Hmm, . . . think about these words from R. C. Sproul Jr.
When I last crossed a decade barrier in my own aging process, God was good enough to grant me this small bit of wisdom—the Bible honors age, not youth. I came to understand that the disappearance of my youth was something God thought a good thing, and if I were wise, I would agree. Now a decade later and I have been given this bit of wisdom—easier said than done.
My calling, as I grow older and my responsibilities grow, isn’t to take a mental vacation to that time when my responsibilities were few. Nor is it to grow grey hairs (or in my case, lose hairs) worrying about those responsibilities. Rather what I ought to do is long for, or better still pray for the maturity that rests in Christ in the midst of responsibilities. I need to not wish I were younger, but to pray I’d grow wiser.
He's right you know!
Discontent seems to be the mood of our lives. Do you remember how dissatisfied you were with your life when you were a kid because you weren't grown up? And are you now dissatisfied with your ilfe because you're not a kid anymore. The ol' gray mare just ain't what she used to be for any of us. Yet, it is an honor to attain old age and R. C. Jr. is right. Think of these Scriptures.
Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?
Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life.
Yet, we've got everything backward. The biblical pattern is that youth are to adapt to the wisdom of the aged, but in the church today the aged are told they need to adapt to the whims of the youth.
Hmm, is this why the church keeps chasing it's tail? We'll try anything and everything to be relevant to young people, the old honor the young, whereas biblically the young are to honor the old.
This post is not meant to be calloused toward kids. My personal opinion (which is only speculation and may be completely off base) is that the church's adoration of youth has come in the wake of the decline of the family. We live in Fatherless America, a place where kids are routinely ripped away from those closest to them. It's hard to blame kids for crying out for attention and its not hard to see how these cries for attention and love could be imported into Christendom. And its not hard to see how there can be a kind of collective guilt that motivates the aged to do all they can to accomodate themselves to the cries of youth.
That's probably an overly simplistic analysis of a complex situation and I offer it only to say that I don't think there is anything malicious about the church's obsession with being relevant to youth. It is motivated by genuine, good hearted, loving and valid concerns.
But, the discipleship process is the process of teaching the whole counsel of God and the whole counsel of God is that youth defer to the aged, not vice versa. For that to happen, us older folks need to embrace our geezerhood and consider it an honor and a blessing to be allowed to grow older. Maybe as we honor the aged we can teach our kids to do the same. And we'll all be better for it.