Stages of Age and Sage

2-1By John Bonney of Springfield, Oregon, USA

You are a good and faithful people, but sometimes you fail to see the power that is resident in your own story and fellowship. Look carefully, listen attentively, and sense the Spirit among you.

—Doctrine and Covenants 162:8a

An old school friend recommended From Age-ing to Sage-ing by Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Ronald Miller. He saw a need in my life. As pitted as we are, with weaknesses and brokenness, there is still a valuable resource for the community within each of us.

After I completed my term of church service as an administrative officer, I intended to continue working where needed. That plan didn’t work out. I just couldn’t function as I once did. I became depressed. I couldn’t do the physical tasks I used to do. Sometimes I thought I wasn’t needed anymore and that I didn’t have anything left to offer.

I then went through a transformation. I came to terms with my aging. I now recognize who I am. Not only who I am, but who I allow myself to be. All of this unfolded over many months. I gradually realized I was needed, I did have something to offer, and I was of value in this results-and-production-oriented society.

I have moved, in an ungraceful way, from aging into “sage-ing.” I thank God for others who have been part of my journey, and I hope that I have been a positive part of theirs. Now I am more accepting of who I am and what I have to offer. I like myself and am willing to offer my service to the community once again.

It helps to put into words what has been going on in my life in recent years. I increasingly find value in my ministry. If there is anything I wish to have said about me when I’m gone, it is that I was one who knew God’s love. I don’t know just how that will play out in the years ahead. I look forward to exploring this question.

Prayer for Peace
Help us see, God, the value of our journey. May we share a story that encourages others. May we listen closely to their story. May we share the peace of Jesus Christ with one another.

Spiritual Practice: Weaving a Life
Hold (or imagine holding) a piece of patterned cloth. Examine it carefully. Notice the overlapping of threads, the mingling of colors to form the design. Write a journal entry or meditate about the threads and patterns of your life. What design do you see? How does the life pattern you are weaving create justice and wholeness in God’s world? What new patterns is God calling you to weave?

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will value the ministry I am able to give at this stage of my life. I know it is needed.

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1 Comment

  1. Ramona

     /  1 February 2013

    I. too, have gone through this aging process. As a 90 year old, I am blessed to be associated with young adults who seem to appreciate me and what I do.

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