The natural journey. We all take it, except for those whose journey has ended. The trip is going to be taken. The matter of choice isn’t a factor–we have no choice. Time doesn’t factor in either, neither does desire. The journey is real, and as we’ll discover as we move forward, it becomes what we make of it. The point is, only God can stop it. We have absolutely nothing to do with it, no control over it. I’m talking about the natural journey that’s as big a part of our lives as the skin that wraps our bodies. It is what it is, despite what we might think or do. I’m talking about aging. If we’ve lived one more day–we’ve aged.
One of the most beautiful things about getting older is the knowing. The aging knows the good and the bad. They know life and the experiences that come with it. They know wisdom because they have had experiences. They know joy and they know sorrow. They know the beautiful and they know the ugly. They know serenity, and they know turmoil and how each affect relationships–because they know relationships. They know love and hate. They know truth and they know lies, on both the worldly scale and in the heart.
There’s something very sad, however, in that knowing. Many of those entering and dwelling in the eldership period of their lives are often somewhat selective in opening up that box of knowledge that is their brain and heart to talk about the realness of eldership. Many are afraid–both the eldership in and of itself and of themselves. My sense is that many who are in eldership who now recognize that we are indeed on that natural journey would rather deny that it is happening. Perhaps it’s because we don’t want to acknowledge that the journey does indeed end. Sadly, that’s immature eldership. No one has a thing to gain by that.
Due to the absolute inevitability that we all take that journey of no choice, wouldn’t it behoove us to make the most of it? Isn’t that what life is all about at its very core? Did God create us for anything different? I think not.
This is the beginning of a series of random posts about the same topic, something I’ve not done before. It’s new territory for me. The series is going to be about eldership–in real life terms. It’s not from book knowledge. It’s not theoretical nor is it scientific. It’s simply about the natural journey through the lens of an elder. It will most likely be an odd mix of joy and thanksgiving, pain and sorrow, wisdom and gut-thought, facts and base perceptions, beauty and ugly, mistakes and successes.
The why of the series is important. I surmise from observation and conversations over the years, that there is precious little shared on a heart-to-heart level about the realness of this stage of our natural journey. Over the years I’ve heard, from both the young and the old, such things as “I never saw that coming”, or “no one ever told me anything about that”. Those ‘such things’ often refer to issues of elder sexuality, loss of almost anything (ex: sight, capabilities, relations, etc.), doubts about how to live or cope with the changes that come with age, you name it… the field’s wide open. Often some of those subjects aren’t widely talked about in preparing the younger for that ultimate time when they too will find themselves at the tail end of our natural journey. Sometimes they are, but they are not heard. Often, they are ignored because “that won’t happen to me”.
I believe that God has wired us to be inquisitive. How will any of us ever be comfortable with ourselves if we are not aligned with the purpose and passion that God has given us by His hand? We find that out by being inquisitive. By being inquisitive, we find our purpose, our passion, and thus we find our role. We learn about ourselves. In that we find peace and contentment–and joy.
If there is anything we all should want by the time the lid on that box is closed is a sense of worth, the knowledge that we were loved and that we mattered, and that our souls are right with God. That’s peace. That’s joy. That’s contentment. We achieve all of that by traversing eldership with grace, and that comes through putting to work the knowledge, all of it, that we learned on our natural journey.
Peace and blessings.