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Monday, August 12, 2013

Becoming a child again

“I am now one hundred and twenty years old and am no longer able to move about freely." Dt 31:1 "Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven." Mt 18:4

Anyone living his or her golden years knows the perils of aging. Hips get stiff, eyes dim, skin sags and the freedom to move about either for work or play is greatly compromised. While some elderly do much better than others keeping themselves healthy, most older people struggle a bit with every day tasks. Moses admits to the Jews that he is no longer the man he was and urges them to seek new leadership. His time of being in the front rank is rapidly coming to an end and the Jews will need to find a new way to go forward towards the Promised Land.

Moses, like everyone else who is aging, must learn a new humility and become like a child. In fact, it seems Moses made his first steps well. Acknowledging his weakness and admitting his inability to do what he had always done, he listens to his body telling him he needs to change. Though it will be difficult for Moses and all of us, there is little choice but to ask the Lord for the strength to let go, accept help and learn to live fully in a different way.

When speaking with older persons who have aged well, there is often a common thread. Letting go of the past is not as important as entering the present with hope, dedication and a willingness to enjoy life as it comes, not as one would design it. Once again, Jesus is right. When we remember how to live each day with the delight of a child, all things are possible. Not only do we celebrate life more honestly, we become powerful witnesses to the Gospel.

Today, accept who you are before God.

What is your greatest challenge to live humbly before God and others?


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