Proverbs 16:31 – Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.
Job 12:12 – Wisdom is with the aged, and understanding in length of days.
Psalm 90:12 – So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom
The Bible is full of scripture verses like the ones above that speak about the role and purpose of the elderly in our community. Their role is to be significant and important. Often, I witness those who are retired searching for a new and different purpose in their life. Lost without a vocation that defined their life for many years, they search for a new purpose and meaning to fill their time. It is common for many adults to believe that they no longer have anything to contribute or that their contribution is not appreciated. Worse yet, is when a person believes that he or she has only become a burden to their loved one. This attitude or line of thinking could not be further from the truth. When people of all ages listen to the witness of scripture, a different purpose unfolds. The elderly possess the gift of wisdom. Those whose hair is now gray, it is to be a crown of glory. A signal to all that this is a person worth listening to, so that all many learn from the wisdom that has been gained only with age. When the Psalmist writes that we should number our days (aka celebrate birthdays) it is not for the purpose of getting gifts, but to provide a time and space for the wisdom to be shared. Consider those events as opportunities to share wisdom in word and by example. If there is one piece of encouragement that I could give to you today, it would be to never stop sharing the wisdom that God has given to you, and to never stop listening to the wisdom of those who have gone before you. On many occasions, parents will lament that their child was raised in the faith, and yet they no longer are practicing their faith. In these situations remember that you still have time left to share your wisdom and model for them the ways in which your faith is impacting your life. They just might pick up on your wisdom at the moment you think they are not looking for it.