I think it’s a maturity thing (spiritual to a large degree) that causes many to offer more prayers of gratitude after sixty-five. No. I haven’t done any studies or referenced any research that supports this. However, anecdotal evidence seems to back it up. I have many connections to people who suffer from a variety of chronic ailments; ailments that have been around for more than three months, which make life a daily challenge. Testimonies from lots of older folks, with health issues, demonstrate that they are grateful for getting out of bed each day.
I’ve written a considerable amount about my own chronic health condition, and I know each day alive is evidence against all odds the world might take against me. Quiet prayers and meditative moments of thanks are part of my daily routine. Lately, I’ve been giving thought to people God has placed in my path throughout my life. There’s a strange irony that occurs whenever I think about these folks; I remember them. If you knew how bad my memory is, you would understand why I call this strange. I’m one of those people who runs into someone in the airport I haven’t seen for quite some time, they greet me and confidently pronounce my name. I, on the other hand, only remember their face; however, I do a fairly good job of making them feel good, at least I think so. There are people who have been with me at certain legs of my life’s journey, and they have uploaded something of extraordinary value to may hard drive.
My first-grade teacher is a person I’ve not seen for well over sixty-five years. She’s been gone from this plain of existence for a long time, but I still remember Ms. A. I remember the trauma of being left at that place, on the first day of school, and how Ms. A helped me survive. I remember my fifth-grade teacher, Ms. B, and several teachers at Wynne, Arkansas’ Childress Elementary and Childress High School. This little separately operated and far from equal facility showed me clearly how dedication to a cause, with few resources can have tremendous impact on the community. I remember Mr. S, my high school counselor, who convinced me that I should go to college.
Throughout my life there have been countless relatives, college/graduate school professors, mentors and healthcare providers who have served me well. Some of these folks probably had no idea of the indelible impression they made on my life. I wonder what sort of person I would be today if the mixture of individuals I’ve had relationships with, short and long-term had of been different.
The longer we live, the greater our chances of being blessed and to bless others. You may think your life has little influence on others, but keep living, and one day someone will tell you of a time that you provided invaluable help to them. It will be a story about a time that you’ve probably forgotten; however, the bearer of the story will remember the encounter in the freshest of details. I believe this is the way God wants things to work between us. It may not seem as though I need you, but I do.
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.