Wednesday, August 03, 2011
The Secret to Feeling Younger
I never thought at 47 I'd consider myself young. My teenagers remind me on a daily basis how "old school" I am.
"No offense Mom."
Yeah. No offense.
But Monday I had the unique opportunity to lead a short Bible study at an assisted living facility. Those people can make you feel like a million bucks!
"My, but you're a pretty young thing!" said one of the first to arrive. (I confess if the wall wasn't behind me I would've turned around to see who she was referring to!) When they asked if I had children, I passed around pictures and got, "What? You don't look near old enough to have kids in college."
They were so sweet and so attentive and yet my stomach was all gurgly. It's an intimidating venture, I tell you, to be designated the leader of a group who have truly lived, who've experienced decades more pain and sorrow than you. I've done it once before when I was asked to speak to a group of seniors about grieving. Grieving! When I saw the average age was around 85, I nearly turned around. How could I say anything they didn't already know?! That feeling came flooding back as women entered the chapel Monday.
"You just be yourself, honey," one kept saying.
I chose to look at verses on anxiety and worry (hmmm, any clue where my head's been lately?) and when I asked them what they worried about, one woman said, "Honey, I had seven kids. I don't worry anymore. I just call one of them and let them take care of it." Don't you love it?
Though she made me laugh, I also thought, "Uh oh, this could be a long lesson if everyone is like her!" But across the table, the lady who said "just be yourself" smiled at me and I went ahead with what I prepared. I figured I didn't wander into the room by accident. God brought me there so I trusted Him to make something of it.
We flipped pages in Bibles (and flipped and flipped and flipped), joked, talked, laughed and prayed together. I'm not sure if any great truths were learned, but that's not my job. I was to show up with a lesson. God is the one who gives it light.
My delightful time with them taught me an important lesson. I'm no theologian or amazing orator. I'm old school to teenagers and a whippersnapper to seniors. In any group of people, the only unique quality I have is myself and my relationship with God. If I don't give that, I'm offering nothing special.
Oh, and have you guessed the secret to feeling younger? Hang out with people older than you!