Reflections on Aging
September 22, 2013 § Leave a comment
Feeling a little sad, and the thought occurred to me that my sadness was due to feeling useless. I was then led by the Lord to think about this. When we get older, we transition from being actively useful to being passively useful. As adults we were actively useful. We did our jobs, we did things for others. As we age, we cease to work, we do less and less for others, and others do more and more for us.
There is an old adage, that it is easier to give then it is to receive. It is true. We do not like to receive. It makes us feel indebted. It makes us feel like we are imposing on others or are being a burden. We don’t feel in control. The Writings talk mostly about how the angels give to one another; yet for every giver, there must be a receiver. It is important that we learn to receive graciously. All of our protesting and deflecting may well express our personal feelings; but they take away from the giver’s joy in being useful.
Obviously the angels are gracious in both their giving and receiving; they joyously give and they joyously receive. We must learn to do the same. This is part of our preparation for heaven. As infants and children, we received the kindness done by others without much thought. I suspect the angels do the same. To become angels, we must learn to do the same.
I suspect that learning to receive graciously and joyously comes at the end of our life because it is so hard to do. It is easier to give than to receive, so we learn that first. Once we know the joy we have in giving, we can the appreciate the joys others have when they give to us. From this we can learn to receive graciously and joyously. And so we begin the journey back to childhood. Except now we receive form others in the innocence of wisdom, instead of the innocence of ignorance.