No Wrinkles on My Spirit

Grandma Walton”
Ellen Corby

I admit that I love to watch re-runs of The Walton’s on TV. The stories depict a time when hardships were the norm but family values, faith in God and hard work were valued. In a recent episode Grandma Walton was experiencing some health concerns as her 68th birthday approaches, and one touching scene resonated deeply within me. In the scene, with Grandpa in the background, Grandma, deep in thought, is seated staring into mirror while holding a photo of herself as a young woman.  

“The whole world’s gone crazy. It’s moving faster than a body can keep up with.  Where did it all go? Where did it all go so fast?  I look so different. But I feel the same inside.  There aren’t any wrinkles on my mind and spirit.”

Some 70 years have passed since the era in which the Walton’s was set.  The world is even crazier.  And many of us experience those very thoughts and feelings daily.  Faced with the frailties that come with aging, we have a choice to make.  We can give in and give up and wait for the inevitable, or we can keep our spirit alive, realizing that God has a plan and purpose for each of us. 

That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

The church today is blessed to have a generation of “baby boomers” whose spirits are alive and thriving.  Led by the Holy Spirit with a desire to bring glory to God through the work of their hands and hearts as they reach out to guide and lead and help others.   

Where are they?  They are leading Bible studies, mentoring men’s groups, teaching ministry classes.   They are behind the scenes working in the kitchen preparing breakfast or serving meals.  They are painting walls and moving furniture.  They are filling shoeboxes and making quilts.  They are volunteering in food pantries and blood mobiles and driving peers to doctor’s appointments.  Loving others! They handle the frailties of aging with grace refusing to give up. 

Where are you?  Which choice are you making? 

Have you never heard?
    Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
    No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak
    and strength to the powerless.
 Even youths will become weak and tired,
    and young men will fall in exhaustion.
 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:28-31

“How beautifully leaves grow old.  How full of life and color are their last days.” 

John Burroughs

Darlene Shelton 9-17-22