“One of the compensations for old age is that you can do anything you want to do; you’re so old that it’s unimportant. I think I could announce that I was an anarchist or a communist or anything else and who cares? People would say, he’s so old, he’ll be dead in a little while, but it’s a funny feeling to the individual because suddenly it doesn’t matter what you say you are.”
- Dr. Karl Menninger, from a 1981 interview
Quoted in Timothy Miller, Following In His Steps: A Biography of Charles M. Sheldon
(Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1987)
Dr. Menninger had such a brilliant mind. There was so much to learn from him as he approached his 90s. It’s a sad commentary on society that he felt his age disqualifying him from being heard. But it is reflective of how people think towards older Christians sometimes – both as individuals and in the church. The Holy Spirit could be moving in a hundred different ways in any given congregation, but there will still be some people who will overlook it if there are mostly older people attending.
This came to mind as I was studying the brief account of Anna, the older prophet, in Luke 2:36-38. This short paragraph gives us several insights about learning from our older brothers and sisters in Christ…
God bless you,
Andrew McHenry, Pastor – First Congregational Church
The blog of Andrew McHenry, Pastor of First Congregational Church of Emporia, Kansas.