I read something last week that has stayed with me: “By 2015 there will be more people in America over age 60 than under 15.” The scholarly article went on explain that with advances in medicine (not necessarily in health) and with relative peace (In the roughly 70 years before the Vietnam war over 1 million U.S.Soldiers died, in the nearly 70 years since roughly 100,000 have died in war, only 7,000 since 1975.) So people are living longer in general and we have more older people than ever. But what will it be like? There could be more wisdom to teach the oncoming generation. There could be less drama as the older we get the more we understand what is worth getting upset about. And the drama could be decreased even more as younger people “with drama” consult their experienced friends and family. There could be increased understanding as armed with knowledge about the practical matters of life we confront issues that separate people. There can be greater developed talents as retired people seek outlets for creativity and productivity. We could be more educated than ever before as we continue to learn proactively throughout life. There could be more relief work, more mission work, more non-profits thriving as they helped others as we often have more resources and the power of residual wealth in our older ages. Our churches can be stronger financially, spiritually and in activity and outreach because of all of this!
More wisdom? Less drama? Developed talents? Better educated? But there’s another possibility. In a culture that encourages us to be self-centric there could be MORE drama as we push, politic and pressure for our own way at any cost. There would be less real connection as we isolate ourselves behind computer screens and security barriers. There may be less ability to relate to others as we become bitter and refuse to give our hearts freely to others. I see more broken relationships it seems than ever. We could become less educated as we think the past was better and clutch onto it instead of availing ourselves to the amazing resources that technology has brought literally to our fingertips. We could become more stingy as we consider only our portfolios, security (brought on by our insecurity) and comfort in older age - clutching instead of releasing what we have. And our churches could divide, be a place of constant complaints and collapse because of all of this.
And, here’s my greatest fear: At the time that we should be better as a society we have shut out the only book that could really make a difference...the voice that could have made this a really better world! The Word of God.
“According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” (2 Peter 1:3).
“There is a way that seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Proverbs 16:25).
Will it be better? It can be for you and those around you - live His Truth!