Almost daily I am reminded about the ‘good old days.’ This reminder, in addition to my aging body, is usually sent to me via social media with a litany of objects, pictures, and people from the 1950’s and 60’s. Flashbacks of those times, things and places carry a storehouse of memories. Usually in short order I am brought back to the same unnerving reality. I am old.
A very encouraging aspect of this kind of ‘gerontocracy’ is, never in our history has their been a stranger time to be old. How is that, and how do you come to such a startling observation? I concur with Mark Galli when he reminds me our best hope of unseating the about-to-turn 74-year old in the White House, is a former vice-president who, at 77 won the democratic nomination over a 78-old senator whom young people preferred in the primaries. If elected, he will, one hopes, work effectively with the 80-year old Speaker of the House, or may be thwarted by the truculent 78-year old Senate majority leader. Additionally, until then, several crucial rights, including access to health care and abortion, may rest in the survival of an 87-year old Supreme Court justice. Wow, by these standards the best of my life is yet to come.
If I could draw any kind of parallel with the previous paragraph and the aging leadership in our country it would be at the height of their power they are thrust into the most difficult times and decisions facing our nation. As a country we have never been more vulnerable, especially when you look at ‘who will be voting.’ we cannot relax our grip. It is the aged, people like myself who must go the bonus round. It is the aged who must carry the baton and be sure it gets passed on.
The irony of all ironies occurred this morning in my quiet time. (my quiet time is spent walking usually around 5:30-6:30). Many people would call this a ‘coincidence. Except I do not believe in a coincidence, I believe it’s’ God way of speaking to me. The verse that came to me was from Psalm 104:18…” the mountains are for stags; the rocks are a refuge for hedgehogs.” I must be honest; I was not sure the meaning of such an obscure verse.
According to John Cassian the hedgehogs of the day gathered in the shelter of the rocks to try to find Jesus. It was this group who were the spiritual elite of their time, they were also a source of guidance for others.
Is it possible we, the older generation are now the hedgehogs and have become the spiritual elite? Is it possible, for such a time as this we have been called to share the ‘good news”? Is it possible, for a time as this we, the senior citizens, are given a ‘bonus round?’ Is it possible we the aged are at the height of our power and cannot relax and allow the moment of greatest power to slip away?
IN MY BONUS ROUND I MUST PASS THE BATON.