I have noticed something recently: when I purchase magazines or look at ads, there aren’t many people of my age. There are some advertisements for products and devises intended to assist older people; they almost always elicit a guffaw from everyone no matter the age.
Having recently made another revolution around the sun, I am aware that ageism exists. It is technically defined as discrimination or prejudice based on age. I’m not having a moment of over sensitivity, I’m just stating something that I beginning to experience. It is almost like people of a certain age become invisible.
Ageism came to my attention when a cousin of mine told me that I was old, too old to be riding my bicycle in the countryside. This cousin is 28 days younger. MMMMmmmm? It is as if she is saying there is an age limit to golfing, tennis, swimming, hiking, or boating. It would be as absurd as saying people over 60 shouldn’t eat ice cream or wear sneakers.
Like many things today, age is a prison. It is a number that represents the time of your beginning or the level of experience that you have attained. Some people seem to attach certain expectations to age. It is true that between 65-67 years one may retire. Yet some folks have a lot of energy and experience to drive them forward. Admittedly there can be some physical or mental limitations that come into play, but you know, younger people fall and forget things too. We don’t limit them to certain activities or ask them to stop working.
Don’t get stuck in the prison of age. Older adults are productive, curious, creative, wise, and energetic. The old adage is true-use it or lose it. God doesn’t support ageism or any other kind of “ism” that might come to mind. God in Christ uses all people recognizing that each one is a precious gift. I hope you don’t think my comments are a rant, but rather an invitation to use your gifts in service to the church and community.