The pool of those living beyond 100 – the centenarians of society - is increasing in leaps and bounds (70,000 in USA in 2007 increasing to 834,000 in 2050; over 4,252 in Australia as of June, 2011, up from 203 just 40 years ago). Demographers are now starting to the number of ‘super-centenarians’ – people over the age of 110 (300-450 currently)!
So life can be prolonged, but eventually we will all die … unless Jesus returns in our lifetime. Eventually the life clock must run down and the human body must die.
People at this stage of life need to feel loved and valued, especially in a society that values productivity and youth, qualities that are in short supply among the aged. What a shame it is that elderly are often denigrated by society.
Let’s tap into the historical mind of these people – their memories and experiences, their perspective, their stories, their vision. They have done a lot of living – successes and failures, as well as mistakes and solutions. The greatest gift we can give our elders is our attention. We must simply listen to them once again. In doing so, we can gain wisdom beyond our years.
Late in life, the elderly ask themselves, “Did my life have any meaning?”
1. Think about how you would you like to be remembered.
2. Visit family and friends. Offer your presence.
3. Comfort someone who has lost a loved one.
4. Volunteer your time or contribute financially to a good cause.
As you reflect on the various stages of life that we have covered, where are you? What about those around you? What's happening in your life right now? What is God up to?