Ageing process should help us achieve spiritual growth
Methodist Superintendent Minister for the Camborne-Redruth Circuit
DEAR friends, when are we too old to change, and unable to make a real difference to the world around us?
The recent resignation by Pope Benedict on the grounds that he no longer has the mental or physical strength to properly carry out his duties, shows great humility and concern for the wellbeing of the church.
But is old age always a time to step down and put our feet up?
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Could it be that in terms of spiritual growth and development the final years of our earthly life are when we should be seeing growth and development as never before.
We're at the start of the season of Lent and I've been preaching again on the temptations that Jesus faced in the desert at the start of his ministry (Luke 4: 1-13).
But this year I've noticed that another way of looking at that story is that it comes towards the end of his life.
In fact the whole of the gospel story is the account of what Jesus did in the last three years before he died.
Yes, he was a young man aged 30, and physically and mentally at his peak, but what he did spiritually in the next three years wasn't dependent on that.
I wonder what we could do in the next three years whatever our age, for whilst physically and mentally there may be some things that are now beyond us, for instance I doubt if I will ever again match my time for the 100m that I set at secondary school.
Spiritually, I am not so limited, and indeed may be better placed to grow now than ever before.
So during the 40 days of Lent let's set some goals and put some work in to grow our spirit in love, joy and peace, patience, kindness and goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:2 2-23).
Yes, we all know which are the fruits that are underdeveloped or sadly missing altogether.
And then let's build on that progress in the next few years, and be amazed at what can be achieved even if we are in our mid-eighties.