Guest blog post by Pastor and Spiritual Director Joan Gunderman
It is not difficult to talk and joke with friends about growing old, but how often do we have conversations with others about meaning, where we can honestly share our wisdom and peace, our fears and doubts, our faith, and the unique humor that comes from a lifetime of experience among that curious species, human beings.
Between myths about aging, and the worship of youth in our culture (not of kids themselves, but of the appearance of youth), many of us resist, and even fear, aging and, subsequently, dying. Just look at the ads pitched our way: expensive hair dye to hide the gray because “I’m worth it!”; creams, salves, pills, diets, even surgery to make our well-earned wrinkles magically disappear; and how about the current trend of “60 is the new 40!”
Much of this seems so ironic to me. Not just as a little girl, but even as a young adult, I loved my grandma’s wrinkles! She had lovely wrinkles that actually lit up her face, revealing a lifetime of smiles, warmth, and love. I honestly didn’t look upon her countenance and think, “Wow she’s old.” When I looked at her face, I saw love, grace, and the beauty of a life being lived well. I don’t know exactly when or how I was taught that wrinkles were ugly betrayers of the fact that we were no longer young (as if that is bad?), but every time I head that way, I think of my grandma.
For many people the midlife years and beyond are a time of both reflection and discovery, presenting opportunities for deep and meaningful spiritual growth. In our retreat on Saturday we will look at the unique gifts that aging provides in terms of our spirituality — how we view ourselves, our lives, our world, and God. I hope you’ll join me!
Saturday, May 26, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
$50 includes retreat and lunch
To register for the retreat, CALL 608.212.6197.