Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
The inclusion theme this month is aging. More accurately it is listed as aging gracefully. I am sure what growing old and aging gracefully is. So often older people are depicted in the movies as sitting around talking about their medical conditions and all the pills they have to take. Certainly, as I have aged, I have begun to experience my share of medical challenges and need for external assistance (medicines, dialysis machine, surgically implanted defibrillator) to stay healthy. But that is not who I am, and I do not intend to go quietly into the twilight of my life. I doubt I will rage as Thomas suggest but I certainly am not going quietly stepping away into a quiet retirement.
Last Sunday Rev Greg facilitated a process of allowing us to physically see the generations and length of time in the ministry for everyone present. What I loved about our community is the newer and younger do not push the elders to the side while at the same time the elders embrace the new to be restored and energies. True inclusion from this perspective is the old and aging and the young and growing interact seamlessly drawing upon the strengths, wisdom, and energy of each other. Maybe that is the meaning of aging gracefully.
I can’t change the fact that I am turning 65 this year but I don’t have to be trapped by the number. I can and do wrote my own story. The past 6 years I have grown in wisdom, experience, and insights and plan to continue to express my gifts and talents until I am no longer able. That may not be graceful, but it is the only way I know how to be. I am reminded of the elders I meet who have retired from work because their lives are so busy that work just was getting in the way. I will draw my inspiration from them.