The above question came to mind a few minutes ago as I pondered the connection between a series of contacts I attempted to make this past week and the responses I received. Allow me to set the stage for a minute.
My wife has wanted us, just the two of us, to take a trip to Alaska. Over the course of several years we had actually saved almost enough money to go, but two weddings and life nipped, no devoured, our Alaska fund. Suppose we had once again saved the funds to go and our departure was only a few short weeks away. Only time and a massively long list of obligations stood between us, and our trip; but I know our long held desire would make both the time and the lengthy obligations easier to bear.
This past week has left me scratching my head and asking the question listed in the title above? I will refrain from giving specific details, to protect the guilty, but let me simply say that if I had been at bat, I would have swung my bat three times and hit nothing but air. In all three instances it was clear that reaching seniors was about the farthest thing from their mind and heart, even though it would have cost them nothing to do what I was asking.
Today, I was in the same church that I had attended last week, which was senior honor Sunday. Other than asking the aged to stand and receive applause from the congregation, nothing more was said or done to honor them during the service. Today, I was back at that church once again. This week was graduation Sunday. A handful of students were in cap and gown. About 15 minutes of the service was dedicated to honoring them. I couldn’t help but ponder the difference in the honor showed.
So, as I sat on my screened-in back porch contemplating all of the above, I wondered, “Do Christians really believe Heaven is for real?” If we did wouldn’t we look at old age as the necessary stuff and stage of life usually experienced before we go to Heaven? Wouldn’t we treat those who through their accumulation of years are nearest Heaven in high regard and with a bit of envy? The truth is we don’t. Our culture celebrates youth and shuns the aged, and I can only come to two conclusions as to why. Heaven must not be real and that is why we shun the thought of aging and aged, or we have bought into the cultural view of aging.
I believe Heaven is for real! I also believe that the Bible is clear on how we are to treat the aged. I honestly don’t look forward to growing old, but I do look forward to what is on the other side and, honestly, can’t wait to get there. The promise and reality of Heaven will get me through the unpleasantness of aging, but the unpleasantness will be instantly forgotten when I board the train to Alaska, I mean Heaven.
Elder Source Senior Ministries