The founder of the Catholic TV station EWTN, Mother Angelica, often reminded the elderly members of her audience that ‘old age is the best wine’ when it comes to our prayer life and our dynamism as intercessors or prayer warriors.
This is counter cultural as in our day, youth, strength and beauty are idolized by society at large and the elderly are often overlooked and forgotten. But for believers who have spent their lives walking with their Saviour, deepening their relationship with Him and have experienced His power and love in their lives – this is the time to sprint the last hundred yards into His Kingdom!
I saw a good illustration of this in Star Wars (Episode 3) where the contemplative Jedi Master ‘Yoda’ engages in battle with the Sith Lord (the devil character). Yoda has a face that has seen many winters, his back is bent over, he walks slowly with a cane but as the fight begins and he draws his light saber, he is animated by the force (the Holy Spirit character) and flies through the air, bouncing around the room as his inner life becomes visible in all its strength and energy for good. The sword ‘does not sleep in his hand’.
The elderly are the treasure of the church and every prayer, ache and pain are useful in building the kingdom; for some, walking upstairs to the bathroom is like a climb to Calvary, a mighty act of intercession it can be…
Perhaps Tennyson spotted this when he wrote:-
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that Strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.