Posts Tagged With: age

Amour

Recently my wife and I watched the acclaimed french film “Amour.”  The acting was stunning, the pace reflective and the themes challenging. The film introduces us to the twilight years of a loving couple, Anne and GeorgeAmour-poster-frenchs, at about the time Anne has a stroke. We then see the struggles that this stage of life introduces them to and their attempts to deal with that. 

I was amazed how much this film unsettled me. Films don’t normally eat at me so much and I began to ask why?

One reason that this film challenged me is that both my wife and I have lost our mothers in the last 5 or 6 years. It brought back painful memories. Helplessly watching people at the end of their lives is not a pleasant experience. Added to this was that it also brought back memories of difficult pastoral visits that I have made in the past. As a young (and when I reflect back, often clueless) pastor I assisted many people in these final years. Some people going with assurance and peace and others with fear and trepidation.

However, the most confronting aspect of the film was the reminder of my my own mortality. My wife and I maybe relatively healthy now but there is no guarantee as to how long this will last. One of us is going to look into a coffin to say goodbye to the other.  So the questions arise, how will I react as the carer or the one being cared for? How gracious and patient and forgiving will I be? My track record hasn’t always been that good.

The saddest aspect of the film was that faith and hope were largely absent. There was love and dedication and certainly a hint of Christ-likeness in their attitude toward each other but there was no future or eternity in view. So as unsettled as the film made me, the biggest reminder for me is to continue to stay focussed on Christ. My life here is a pilgrimage and not the destination.

Categories: christian, Christianity, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Finishing Well

Lately, as the end of the school year approaches, I have been urging my students, particularly the older ones, to finish the year well. “Give it all you have got!” “Do your best.” “Show your mettle.”

astro clock

Astronomical Clock – Prague

Then I reflected that I should be directing this message to myself as well. I am getting to an age when, traditionally, people retired. According to some European countries I am well past that age. They would have pensioned me off some time ago! But, I too, need to finish well. There are are times when I remember saying in the past, “There is no retirement in the Kingdom of God.” The time has come where I need to believe that for myself!

In recent year years I have heard a negative inner voice urge me to quit, stand back, take it easy and to pass the buck. “It is all to much.” Excuses wheedle their way in. It is the arthritis or the stamina or whatever excuse seems “usable” at the time. This surprises me because it goes against everything I have ever believed in.

It doesn’t help that we live in a culture that idolises youth and appearance. There is a, not too subtle, hint in western society that if you are over 50 or 60 you “over the hill.” Yet this gives us the very reason to “finish well”. We live in a society that needs wisdom, experience and stability. Our world needs firm but humble voices that hearken to values, beliefs and standards that deserve to be remembered and retained. All the more reason for older people not to “pull their heads in” but to speak with care and compassion into the modern world.

To put it simply, we need the passion, verve and energy of the young but also  the wisdom, experience and stories of those who are older. Isn’t that one of the remarkable attributes that make us human?

Categories: christian, Reflections | Tags: , | 3 Comments

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