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From Our Pastor
On the first of September, Janet and I took a day trip around the area heading for a flea market that I saw
advertised on some site or the other. Eventually, we found it but let’s just say it was far less than amazing. But the day was not lost. I love thrift stores and if there is one thing I love more it is United Methodist Thrift stores. Fortunately, our day was saved by a United Methodist thrift store. It wasn’t what we bought there; we actually didn’t buy anything of great excitement. It was because of the person we met.
We were wandering around in the store and thinking it wasn’t that great when I hear the voice of an older woman coming in the back door. Another lady helped her up the steps and she started across the room to a desk by the front door. I, in my usual silly manner, said, “Well, hello young lady, how are you today?” She started talking to me and said, “Well, I am not bad for a hundred and one going on a hundred and two.” I was a bit amazed she was moving rather well and looked to be in her eighties or so. She was very pleasant and happy. She continued to the front and I kept looking around. We started for the door to leave and Janet found a little tchotchke she wanted for a dollar and went to pay this older woman. We began to talk and she told me she still lives alone in a split-level house (she said she knows how to go up and down stairs at this age) and still drives herself. She said very matter of factly, “I can get around quite well with a cane or walker.” I was very impressed at this lady. She knew what was going on and was very on the ball. I found out during my visit that the Pastor of the church is a good friend of mine and tonight I sent him a message on facebook telling him I had visited the store. We had the usual exchange of “I wish I had known” and “I didn’t know that’s where you are,” all the chit chat. I said to him, “The ladies there are super wonderful,” and he replied, “They are. Our director is 101 and still serving until we find someone.” Wow! I was amazed! I thought she was just stopping in or volunteering for a short shift at the desk, she is the director. I found out from my pastor friend, her name is “Margaret; she and her husband began filling in in 1986 only until the church could find someone to be the permanent director. Her husband died a couple years ago at 100. She was back to work two days later. Everything the thrift shop makes goes to missions.”
Here is a woman who could certainly say “I have done my time and I am finished” but she is still volunteering and leading a ministry at 101. She is supporting missions by selling donated items for small amounts probably often to people who need the items and can’t afford much more. She is living out God’s call on her life.
I can tell you that if I live to that age and am in that good of health, which is doubtful, I am going to be sitting and rocking on my front porch. But this lady is living like so many before her; she is continuing to serve as God gives her strength and ability. If we look at the Old Testament, we find people still serving God as they have aged far beyond what was expected. If we take the Bible literally, Noah was around 500 when the flood came. Sarah was 90ish when Isaac was born, Abraham was 100. I realize we discuss that time was counted differently in those days but the point is, they were old. Retirement is not a Biblical concept, it is a social construct of the 20th century. God calls us all to offer our gifts and graces for the building up of His body, the church, for as long as we are able. He gives us the ability whether we are young (Jesus in the temple at 12) or old (Noah at 500 sailing a boat full of animals) to perform the tasks He puts before us. He doesn’t call the equipped...he equips the called. (Yes, I stole that from somewhere.) We are called to give of ourselves for as long as God allows.
This makes me wonder how I will respond to God’s call at 101...if I make it there. How and where is God calling you to serve today? How are you answering? Are you saying “here I am send me” or are you saying “I’m too old?” If you are answering the latter, I want to introduce you not only to some Biblical characters but also to an amazing 101 year old woman named Margaret who is still serving with her gifts and graces as God leads her.
206 South Hopkins Avenue (US1)
Titusville, Florida 32796
321-269-7631 • More Info