Temptations Of An Old Man

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
~ Matthew 23:11-12

I feel comfortable growing old. I now have the time to enjoy things I did not have time for when I was younger, like going on long walks and nature hikes; reading books I have long wanted to read; visiting friends and relatives or just keeping in touch with them; visiting places I have imagined spending time in.

But there are also temptations that I need to watch out for. Like, giving my unsolicited advice and opinion just because I believe I know better or have the experience. Or, talking about my pains and sufferings just because I think these things should not be happening to me. Or, getting preferential treatment and special attention just because of my age or stature.

I have tried to keep my needs and, even more so, my wants few and simple. I think I have generally succeeded. But there are still times I feel very needy for love and affection, craving for the need to still be needed by people I hold dear.

A good friend, who probably is struggling with the same temptations as I am, shared this prayer in his Timeline yesterday. I am making it one of my regular, if not daily, prayer:

LORD, You know I am growing older.
Keep me from becoming talkative and possessed with the idea
that I must express myself on every subject.
Release me from the craving to straighten out everyone’s affairs.
Keep me from the recital of endless detail.
Give me wings to get to the point.
Seal my lips when I am inclined to tell of my aches and pains.
They are increasing with the years and
my love to speak of them grows sweeter as time goes by.
Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong.
Make me thoughtful and not nosey,
helpful but not bossy.
With my vast store of wisdom and experience i
t does seem a pity not to use it all.
But YOU know, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.

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