By Doris Schroeder
It is rather strange how life slips up on a person. One day you were in your prime, doing all the things God has led for you to do. Since you were in your prime and had the energy, you managed quite well and you laughed as each birthday came around. “What’s all this talk about getting old?” you wondered. “I will always be steadfastly young and be around forever…at least until that wonderful day God calls me home!”
And for a season that seemed possible. But then gradually, barely perceptible at first, your hearing begins to dim. Just a hint at first, but gradually you sometimes asked someone to repeat themselves, and yes, your forgetter is certainly getting stronger. You realized you were beginning to break out with the malady of old age and there was nothing you could do about it. In church, you and your husband begin to sit closer to the front…and use the chairs with armrests so you can stand when you need to…even using the church’s hearing aids so you can hear the sermon.
I ask myself “Is this the time to stay in a rocking chair and let life pass me by, using the excuse I’m getting old? Why hasn’t God taken me home?” And then, the truth hits me. I am here because God has a purpose or something He still wants me to do! But what? I can’t hear as well or speak or sing like I used to so what is left?
But then, each Thursday morning comes around and like we have done the last twenty years, we attend the YOUNG AT HEARTS MINISTRY at the Delos V. Smith Center on West First, and the reason we are here becomes plain. We visit with fellow mature people and share our joys and sorrows with people who know what we are talking about. We encourage each other when we visit and pray for one another.
Each week we have a different speaker from one of the churches in town or a world-wide missionary to some country and we come away with a new resolve and a new motive in our heart. The meeting starts at 10 a.m., but if we get there early, we can enjoy a cup of coffee with a snack with a friend if we like.
The speaker each week gives us another outlook from God’s Word. We enjoy singing the old hymns that we grew up with and have become a part of our lives. We also enjoy special musical numbers, both vocal and instrumental, that bring back memories and help us resolve to stay close to our Maker.
We write out our prayer requests and one of the group reads them off and then prays for all of the people a little later.
Some of the speakers even hand out an outline of his talk so we can remember what he talked about. Since it is getting harder and harder to remember things, this is really helpful.
Every month that has five Thursdays, we have a program by the group. The month of June we will have a program on the fifth Thursday. This time we will have a “Remember when” program where participants tell about life or music from when they were young. We all enjoy this so much because we can recall when we were in our prime. It helps us understand the whys and wherefores of our life and why God does things that work out to our good in the long run.
Our son, John David, will be speaking on the 15th of June. That is, if they are able to make the trip from Florida. His wife, Carol, has been ill and they are trying to find the cause. We have been praying for her. John D. just retired from being Jail Chaplain at a huge jail in Florida and was in charge of the most severe prisoners. Two years ago he retired as Lt. Col. chaplain in the U.S. Army. I know you will enjoy hearing him if he can make it. I really don’t know of any speakers that aren’t really thought provoking and inspiring.
In August we will have a dinner in the evening at the Center and a program by the Son Life men’s quartet. Our leader is Ron Ogle and the assistant is Charles Roth. You will enjoy “getting older” among Christian friends.
At any of our meetings, I can assure you, you will go home inspired to be used of God in some way, whether you are 55 or a hundred. Why? Because God is in it. You will know you are not alone in all your life endeavors. Come on out to the Delos Smith Center at 101 West First this Thursday and be there by 10 a.m. We will be there to greet you!