Staying Fresh and Flourishing, No Matter Our Age


I think I’m losing it. Not my hair. I’ve already taken a pretty big hit on the hair-loss front. I remember sitting in the barber’s chair in Carmel, IN  when I was about 30 years old, and Jerry, my barber, asked, “Did you know you have a bald spot about the size of a quarter on the top of your head?”

This was news to me. I could have gone a little longer not knowing about that step towards aging.

Balding is one thing, but losing my mind is an entirely different concern. I went into my cleaners the other day to pick up a shirt, and the lady asked, “Do you want to pick up everything?”

I knew I only had one shirt, but I also knew that sometimes they get me mixed up with the other Chancey customer who frequents that cleaners. I said, “I only have one shirt.”

She said, “We have you down for three more shirts and a pair of pants.”

“Oh, I’ve already picked up that order.”

She printed the ticket, went to the back, and pulled out three shirts and a pair of pants. The tickets were marked “re-do.” “Re-do” usually means they goofed something up and I sent it back. I knew I didn’t “re-do” that order.

But there were my clothes I knew I had paid for, taken home, and were hanging in my closet. I was so confused. How did they get those shirts out of my closet and back to the cleaners without my knowing about it?

The clerk suggested, “Maybe you paid for them and walked out without them.” I realized, that’s what I did. I was talking to the young lady, paid, and walked out, not even realizing I didn’t take my clothes. I thought they were at home, ready to be worn again.

Boy, was I shocked when she showed me those shirts. At least I didn’t have to pay again.

Those kind of embarrassing moments remind me I’m getting older, but I’m determined to be like the person described in Psalm 92:12-14:

“The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing.”

Fresh and flourishing! That’s my goal, to be planted in a strong, growing relationship with the Lord, and to keep growing, serving, and bearing much fruit. As I grow older, I don’t want to sit and soak. I don’t want to coast, and I don’t want to stand on the sidelines.

There is no hanging it up in Christian service if we are to be fresh and flourishing.

What is the description of the senior saint who is fresh and flourishing? Psalm 71 gives us some insight into what fresh and flourishing looks like:

  • He practices continuous prayer (71:2-5)
  • He is continuously hopeful. Because he has a deep trust in God (71:1, 5), he is not cynical or negative. As the Psalmist declares in v. 5, “For You are my hope, O Lord God.”
  • He is praising God more and more (71:14, 22, 23).
  • He uses his speech not in destructive ways, like gossip and spreading seeds of discord, but to spread the good news of God’s righteousness and wonderful works. Six times in Psalm 71, the Psalmist refers to uplifting speech (15, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24).
  • He goes in the strength of the Lord (71:16).
  • He passes the faith to the next generation (71:18).
  • He again declares trust in God’s sovereignty (71:19-21).

Back to memory loss, some “anonymous” person wrote about “my forgetter’s getting better, but my rememberer is broke.” The writer describes being here, but wondering if he should really be there, and putting something away where it is safe, but the person it’s safest from is generally himself!

I can relate. We may be slipping on the remembering front, and our body can’t do what it used to could do, but let’s determine not to slip spiritually. Let’s stay fresh and flourishing, not matter our age.

active, age, memory, senior adults