So what’s wrong with acting your age? Posted on October 19, 2018October 19, 2018 by Dave Fenton We almost certainly said it to our children – maybe not always helpfully, ‘Act your age’ perhaps adding ‘not your shoe size!’ But at times I feel the need to give a similar message to some active retired people. In my days in youth ministry, it was sad when my 50-year-old colleagues were dressing like teenagers. They may have felt they looked cool but the reality was they looked more than slightly strange. In much the same way, I now meet those in their 70s who claim they are far too young to rock up to anything for designed for retired people or even to hang out with them. True, age can be as much to do with your attitude and state of mind as it is the level of your body’s decay. But, it seems to me, there are those who cannot bear to be designated ‘old’. My message is ‘face up to reality and embrace the age you are. Put your birth certificate above your mantelpiece and reflect what it says in your choices and attitude’. God brought me into the world in 1943 – definitely a vintage year! Where’s the problem with living with that reality? This is who I am – how God made me and the best thing I can do is to serve Him as I am, not how I wish or imagine myself to be. For our parents’ generation retirement meant resting after years of working. But now people are asking what to do with their lives. Their answer is sometimes limited to golf, short tennis, walking football, line dancing or Saga cruises. There’s nothing wrong with any of those. It’s great that the retired and active have the health and income to engage in a great variety of activities for many more years than those retiring in the past. Bit this means there’ll be a peer group around to share their lives for the next few decades, including sharing the relevance of Jesus. In which case, as the old fashioned Wayside Pulpit asks, ‘What on earth are you doing for heaven’s sake?’ Act your age – join up with your fellow retirees and do something that grows God’s kingdom. What is wrong with being 74 and hanging out with other 74 year olds? Those who are retired and active are one of a church’s greatest resources. But that’s only true if they make themselves available – as those committed to being part of God’s plan for themselves and for others. We really can’t say ‘I’ve done my bit’. Retirement – what’s been called ‘my time to be selfish’ is a social construct not a biblical norm. No! Let’s accept the challenge ahead – rejoicing in the opportunities. This is no time to sit in an armchair wishing you were young again but it is your moment to ask God to shape your new world as you work with others in your church and community. When I watch cricket I get itchy fingers, wishing I was on the field again. I can still hit a ball but the challenge of a quick single over 18 yards is beyond me. But that’s no reason to retire from activity completely. So I’ve turned to golf and am enjoying accepting my limitations and re-adjusting my expectations. I hope you’re doing something of the same – by joining in with the glorious band of your fellow retirees and serving God together. So if you are up for acting your age and need some ideas there’s a huge amount of ideas and resources waiting for you on our website at here. Dave Fenton: Dave is a retired clergyman spending his after-work time lecturing at Moorlands College, building relationships and sharing his faith at his local golf club, and escaping to a cliff-top caravan in Cornwall where his seven grandchildren enjoy the local surfing beach. Do you have a ‘now I’m acting my age story’ to share? Then please do so in response to this blog or on our Facebook page.