I have this friend from church. Her uncanny resemblance to an overseas author friend of mine was what first caught my eye after she migrated from another church in town and showed up in our congregation. It nearly bowled me over when I heard her voice and accent were the same.
Jennifer is her name and you could say I loved her from the first. Ever since we met about a year ago, our friendship has steadily built as we are learning more about each other through brief encounters the old fashioned way - face to face. How old is she? She has told me but I forget. Safe to say she's well over 70.
Her husband has beaten her to Heaven, she drives a red Ford Fiesta "hot-hatch" (red makes it go faster), and the lady is never home. Imagine my surprise when she took the initiative and found me on email! There's a lot of older peeps who are tech immune. Last night Jennifer emailed me from her iPad!
Every week she is right there in church, seated in the centre and usually with the "shouter-outers" who are also of the hoary generation. When I grow up, I want to be one of those ladies, the church staples who hold their heads high and offer encouragement to others in the midst. She's one of the experienced, seasoned humble people. They've lived and they're still here and praising without any signs of stopping.
Last night in our emails I teased her saying I would fit my diary to hers so we could catch up, since she is sooooo waaaaay busier than me. She does have a cat though (Eew), and says the cat is her cover (I said she was a spy. Her life is way too active, so there's only one explanation).
Jennifer's an inspiration to me because she doesn't stop! I want to be like her when I grow up. It's a reminder for me of how to live and to make the most of the life God gave us, especially today because my Mum just sent a text saying to pray for my Grandad who's been taken off to hospital. I've lost count of how many trips we're up to. His health is failing and the peace that comes from knowing he loves God is a comfort amid the sadness of knowing he's on the way out. Watching Nan get around the house is his idea of "living". Nan feels a little spied on, but he truly delights to watch the love of his life going about her housekeeping. This is equally as special to me as watching Jennifer never waste a minute.
I feel blessed and privileged to have these people around me, and though I wish this life didn't have to end the way it does, my heart reminds me this life is not the end, that those of us who believe have an even greater hope. Living with Eternity in mind is the biggest thing we live for and usually the reason believers choose to believe in the One God sent.
If you don't believe, why don't you? You should.
Decide: Growing old gracefully has many definitions, so what does it mean for you?
"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3v12-14
Ce n'est pas que j'aie déjà remporté le prix, ou que j'aie déjà atteint la perfection; mais je cours, pour tâcher de le saisir, puisque moi aussi j'ai été saisi par Jésus Christ. Frères, je ne pense pas l'avoir saisi; mais je fais une chose: oubliant ce qui est en arrière et me portant vers ce qui est en avant, je cours vers le but, pour remporter le prix de la vocation céleste de Dieu en Jésus Christ.