Scripture: Ecclesiastes 12:1-5, Good News Translation
So remember your Creator while you are still young, before those dismal days and years come when you will say, “I don’t enjoy life.” 2 That is when the light of the sun, the moon, and the stars will grow dim for you, and the rain clouds will never pass away. 3 Then your arms, that have protected you, will tremble, and your legs, now strong, will grow weak. Your teeth will be too few to chew your food, and your eyes too dim to see clearly. 4 Your ears will be deaf to the noise of the street. You will barely be able to hear the mill as it grinds or music as it plays, but even the song of a bird will wake you from sleep. 5 You will be afraid of high places, and walking will be dangerous. Your hair will turn white; you will hardly be able to drag yourself along, and all desire will be gone.
We are going to do something rare today–we are going to recognize our Senior Adults. First, I want to recognize our Senior of Seniors, Mrs. Jewel Roberts, age 49 [inverted]. Mrs. Jewel, I want you to come to the front and stand by me. Now I want everyone 80 years old and above to come stand with me. [Applause] Now if you are 65 or above, come stand with us. Note two things: In the above 80 group, the women out number the men and two, the senior adult population is about to boom because of baby boomers.
Project 10 years from now, 2026: how old will you be, I will be 76 Lord willing. In ten years Senior Adults will double teenagers. There are 74 million baby boomers and 10,000 of them are retiring every day until 2028, only 12 years away.
Let me ask you a question: if you were going to speak to a group of Senior Adults, what would you choose as a topic? Would you use Dr. Adrian Rogers outline on the three major life decisions: Life’s Master, Life’s Mate and Life’s Mission? I didn’t think so. Would you talk to them about “Temptation?” Of course not, old folks cannot be tempted! Wrong! The devil does not give Senior’s a pass. Our temptations may not be the same as the younger generations but there are just as real.
Now I do admit that things change for Seniors and this includes temptation. We are tempted to go to wild late night parties, we don’t have enough energy for a party, a dinner at a fine restaurant will do just fine. It takes us longer to rest than it does to get tired and twice as long to get ready. I get exhausted getting ready and it takes women twice as long to look half as good. It was a joke a few years ago but now my back does go out more than I do. Everything hurts and what does not hurt, does not work or either it is dried up or leaks. A major challenge for me is not to float a creek after a flood which was once fun; I am challenged now by finding my car in a parking deck. In spite of all this disabilities we can still be tempted.
A recent survey of 300 Senior Adults reveal that Senior Adults have many temptations [more of a spiritual nature] but the top five are:
- A CRITICAL SPIRIT–Like Naomi, we become bitter and cynical with time. Age can turn a lot of things sour and sometimes we allow the disappointments to sour our attitude. Instead of us being encourages to the younger generations, we become highly critical. They don’t need our critical analysis, they need our prayerful support. I’ve made mistakes I cannot recover from: I’m sure my son observed my ways and saw the errors and decided he wasn’t going to make the same mistakes. I call this progress. I don’t want to discourage him, I want to encourage him. We cannot give in to this cynical and critical spirit though the temptation is strong.
- A SPIRIT OF RESIGNATION OR DEFEAT––We are tempted to quit, to throw in the towel, we are tempted to be lazy and pass the buck with alibis like, “Its time for the young folks to step up.” They are stepping up but we don’t need to quit. Note our text for today…Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. Note the scripture says ‘unto death’ not until 65. There is no reason a Senior Adult cannot go to Montgomery for a 1 hour prayer rally. What are you going to be doing that is more important? We want to make key decision for others to follow but we are not setting the proper example by following ourselves. We don’t retire from ministry.
- INFLEXIBILITY—This one surprised me at first but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. We don’t want to change and we resist change with a vengeance. We are dealing with VBS right now: Mandy and I have yielded to change because we want to have a VBS and we are not going to be able to do it if we are inflexible. It may be a battle if we are flexible. I don’t recommend that Seniors go on Guatemalan Mission Trips because you have to be flexible. If you are not you will get bent out of shape. Seniors are prone to yield to this temptation.
- LIVING IN A STATE OF REGRET–We’ve all made mistakes and some of us have made more than others. We must accept the forgiveness we have in Christ. We cannot give in to the remorse of our regrets. This will lead to a perpetual pity party. We will spend the majority of our time feeling sorry for ourselves.
- ANXIETY–I’m not at all shocked by number 5, worry is a huge temptation for Seniors. Do we have enough money for retirement? What if we outlive our savings? Who is going to take care of us if we get to a point that we can’t take care of ourselves? Which nursing home will our children choose? Will they come to see us or forget us? What if I have a stroke and it doesn’t kill me? What if my body outlives my mind?
Speaking of anxiety, let me tell you what you should be worried about and that’s where you are going to go after the nursing home? Where are you going to spend eternity? This question is not just for Senior Adults. Personally, I would not want to die without Jesus.