I was going through the attic recently to try to get rid of stuff I no longer need. Some of the stuff I’ve been carrying around for decades are old electric trains. For years I’d been telling myself that one day, I’d get them out and build a layout. Well, I took some of them out and put them together and tried to run them. Nothing happened. After some fiddling, I got them to run, but barely. It seems that just a tiny layer of oxidation (rust) on electric motors and tracks is enough to keep trains from working right. The best way to care for trains is to use them.
On October 19th, the Wall Street Journal published a significant article by Anne Tergeson on aging. No matter how old you are, you should read it: http://www.wsj.com/articles/to-age-well-change-how-you-feel-about-aging-1445220002
Tergeson says the first thing people need to do to age well is confront the negative stereotypes on aging. Studies show that people over 65 are happier, more confident, more secure, and more able to do the things they want than younger people. Older people have fewer problems than younger people. Older people even feel younger relative to their age than younger people. Tergeson urges us to substitute positive images of aging for negative ones. The key is to embrace the aging process, and both the good and bad things that come with it.
And of course, the best way to care for your mind and body as you get older is to use them.
I actually think the same is true for the church. We have this great old building, a beautiful 600 acre camp, no debt, and three and a half million dollars in investments. The thing is, a layer of oxidation has built up. We need to keep fiddling to get it running right again. The best way to care for this place is to use it too.