When it DID start to bother me was when the young would draw unnecessary attention to my age––like the clerk at a British Costco who stared at my American Costco card and then said, “You’ve been a member of Costco longer than I’ve been alive.” I nodded and told him he could have gone all day without saying that. Or the eighteen-year-old movie teller who, when I asked for two tickets for the movie, looked at me, then my friend, then back at me and gave us one adult and one senior. Neither of us was even close to deserving that twenty-five cent discount!
Now, however, I have swung back the other way. If some young-un wants to even hint that I might be eligible for a discount then I’m taking it. It’s like putting the wrong sticker price on an object. You gotta live with the loss, buddy.
But more importantly, I value and appreciate these younger generations. They have the energy and excitement previous generations had when stepping up to take their place in society, and often they know a whole lot more than we did coming out of the chute.
Recently we honored our longtime pianist who was stepping down. He and his talent would be missed tremendously, but then I looked across the stage and there was now a young man on the keyboard, a young woman on the guitar, a teen on the violin, and a twenty-something on the drums. I smiled. God has a wonderful system going here. A relay of talent.
Yes, God uses all ages. Some he calls when they are older like Moses and Abraham. But many more He calls when they are young: Jeremiah, Timothy, David, John Mark, Samuel, Esther, Mary.
Each generation has its role and responsibility: the older to teach the younger (Prov. 22:6; Deut. 11:19; Joel 1:3), and the younger to be that new generation of godly believers. As Paul said to Timothy, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” (I Timothy 4:13)
Let’s do this together.