A senior discount! Really?

I spent the middle part of this week in a conference for activity directors who work in senior care facilities. I was entering trip expenses into QuickBooks when I noticed something on a breakfast receipt that read, “1 SENIOR BUFFET BKFST.”

Stop the presses! Stop everything! They gave me a senior discount? I didn't show an ID. I wasn’t asked my age. I didn't ask for a discount, and I certainly didn't ask for a senior discount. To be honest with you I didn't like being placed in the senior category.

Americans spend cazillions of dollars each year to deny and cover up the fact that they are aging, and the church is not immune to “seniorphobia.” I see pastors in their 50's trying to look and act much younger. I know of churches that are replacing middle-aged pastors with much younger staff members. I heard one pastor in his early 40's say his staff (all near his age) is getting old, and they need younger staff members.

Even though I often disagree with how society and the church view seniors, I hadn't accepted the fact that I have bought into some of the same thinking—the thinking that devalues the intrinsic value and honor of growing older. One of the tag lines for Elder Source is, “Making a difference one senior at a time.” Until this morning I didn't understand it has to begin with me. So, here it goes. My name is Stan Means, and I am over 50. Therefore I qualify for some (very few really) senior discounts, and that’s okay!

Well, I put it in print! Now I have to convince myself that it is true.

Stan Means 
Elder Source Senior Ministries