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Prayers in Praise of Every Age: Aging

While waiting to hear from an ophthalmologist about a cataract. (08.11.23)


Thank you for reminders of age that let me know life

has beginnings and endings I cannot control.

Thank you for the frustration of fatigue that says

I need to let others share in the vocation of well-doing.

Thank you for those occasional glitches in memory

that push me to trust you as the One for whom I live

“in remembrance of.”

Thank you for aches and bruises that take just that

little bit longer to heal, and so remind me the physical

self is a gift from you which requires patience and well-tending.

Thank you for wisdom that comes with age, though at time

that same wisdom so hard-earned can prompt regret

for past thought and action.

Thank you for insight into what life was like for those who

have gone before me in the graduating classes of life,

who have taught me by example that aging takes courage I

had not understood as you witness the world you have known

and those you have treasured fade away, disappear.

Thank you for the inner self that, for some, never ages;

for the gift of flexible thinking and self-understanding that does

not abandon youthful hopes or impatience with how life should be;

the inner self surprised by glances in the mirror that stop us short

and make us ask, perhaps in wonder: “just who is that old person.”

Thank you for companions here and among the cloud of witnesses

as we cheer each other on, rejoicing and weeping

in time with our seasoning.

Thank you, too, for aging that grows us up at last to embrace

what it means to let go of ego, pride, resistance, and unfaith,

to trust-fall as beloved children into the arms of the One

who transcends aging and all our infirmity.

Thank you.

See you soon (but not too soon :)


-Bob Guffey (August 11, 2023)

(bguffey, Traveler's Rest, SC, 2015)


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