For age is opportunity no less Than youth itself, though in another dress, And as the evening twilight fades away The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
When I was a kid, I thought it would be so cool to be invisible. I could listen in on conversations that I otherwise wouldn’t hear. I could sit with the adults and not be seen or heard. I could drive a car and freak everyone out.
Now that I’m a senior citizen, being invisible no longer holds great appeal. I often feel as though I’ve slipped through the cracks. I can walk through a store, looking for assistance and be ignored completely. I can be pushing my cart through the aisles, with people whisking past me at the speed of light, never seeing me. I’ll be in a crowd of people and completely hidden from most people. It seems when you reach the golden years, you actually become invisible.
A funny thing about aging is that in our time – in our society – in our place in the world – old people are pretty much unseen or unnoticed. Young people are so buried in their own realm, that they don’t always see you. The successful, look at aging as a burden to society. The government pays you a stipend – which you have invested over your entire working career – and thinks it’s giving you a bonus for living so long. Aging isn’t pretty for most folks, but the truth is, everyone is probably going to become old.
So how can we become visible as the aging generation? Do we still possess value to society or are we just a drag on it? Does anyone appreciate the struggles we’ve gone through in life? Do they know the disappointments, pain, suffering and fears we’ve pushed through? Most folks don’t really care about our problems, but there is still One who sees us clearly every minute of every day. He knows all our needs and provides for them. He gives us a reason – a purpose – a value – that we don’t deserve, but because He loves us.
Life is geared to the young and up and coming – the entrepreneurs – the famous – the flashy – the stars. Monty Python phrase “I’m not dead yet!” became a popular phrase after the movie “In Search of the Holy Grail.” I like to think we have much to offer the world – especially the young – because we’ve lived life. We know what to expect and how to deal with it.
If I were to die today, I know I’m not invisible to God. If I live another twenty years, I know that I still have a purpose in life or I wouldn’t still be here. I consider the elderly, the survivors – the ones who have achieved their stardom. The stars aren’t visible in the bright sunshine, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still there.