Growing Old is Not for Wimps
Today’s reading: 2 Samuel 24:1-1 Kings 2:12
My selection: I Kings 2:10-11
Then David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David. 11 And the time that David reigned over Israel was forty years. He reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem.
My reflections: David’s life did not end smoothly.
1. The Census. In one of his final acts as king, he brought pestilence on the nation through his ordering a census. In this case he departed from his previous practice of accepting wise counsel. He rejected Joab’s objection and forced through the census. He later confessed that this was sinful and took steps to confess and make sacrifices. Nevertheless, it was one of his final acts and it was a foolish one. Being elderly does not automatically make you wise.
2. His health. David suffered from poor circulation and could not maintain his body heat. Many elderly know what this is like and have to dress with extra layers when younger people are in light clothing.
3. Succession controversy. Adonijah, David’s son and Absalom’s younger brother, set himself up as king without the support of David. David had chosen Solomon to be king, but he had not taken steps to transfer power to him. Adonijah forced David’s hand. Like David, many elderly know the difficulty of relinquishing control in a timely manner.
My challenge: If you are a senior citizen, are you taking steps to see that your life ends as wisely as possible? Are you allowing your loved ones to assist you as you go through the transitions of late life?
If you have elderly relatives who depend on you, are you serving them and honoring them to make their life as pleasant as possible? Do you show understanding of their physical needs without ridiculing them for such things as feeling cold in warm weather or being hopelessly behind the technology curve?
If you are a caregiver for an elderly person, show love and acceptance to him or her. If you are elderly, accept the assistance of loved ones in transferring power and authority at the end of your life. Do that before a crisis occurs.
Tomorrow’s reading: 1 Kings 2:13-4:19