Toothbrushes, Batteries and The Older Generation–A Valuable Lesson

The last article was pretty heavy. Today we will lighten the mood, but there will still be a lesson for us. I know God created me. I know He placed my mind in His hands, but I think He added a bit of humor and craziness in it. When I do things my mind is never still. Seems like God helps me take the ordinary things of life and turn them into a lesson. This one is no different. So, with that being said here we go. 
I have a mechanical toothbrush. It’s one of those that spins and does all kind of crazy things. It has a battery in it to make it go. I left for Indiana on December 16. When I was packing I noticed my batteries for the toothbrush was winding down. I put in extra batteries so I wouldn’t have to bother my sons-in-law with such things. My toothbrush never died so I didn’t replace the batteries. Just the other day they began to spurt and sputter. I thought about how I really needed to change the batteries in my toothbrush. It would work so much better if I did. 
Now you have to know something at this point about me. I am the one that will use something as long as it is useful. Even on my cosmetics I will cut open the container (if it’s a tube) and will scrape to get the last bit of makeup out. You will be happy to know I don’t do that with toothpaste. I turn all my bottles upside down (to my husband’s dismay) to get that last drop out. I go to a store and he will tell me to buy some new clothes I head to the 50% to 75% off rack and see what I can find. 
So these batteries were on the last leg. I really wanted to change them, but didn’t have it in me to do it. You see it was still operating. For so many of us it’s easy to throw things out just as they are beginning to die down or at the sign of no life. So, as I began to think about my batteries I began to think about our older generation. How many times do we want to replace them with the younger, more vibrant, energized folks?
Now I am not opposed to utilizing our younger generation. They have some great ideas and full of energy. I will agree some of us spurt and sputter a lot, but I think we still have some things to offer. I am wondering if you look at our church committees or any committees as far as that goes what percentage is older. I am thinking we think because they are on their last leg just like my batteries it’s time to set them aside. 
I have been around a lot of older folks and let me tell you they have a lot to offer. Not only do they have experience, but they have wisdom that is far beyond many of us. We will get it eventually, but they have it now. We should be looking at our older generation for wisdom, guidance and for experience instead of patting them on the head and saying, “Well, thank you for your service.” 
A few years ago, a wonderful woman who was close to 100 came up to some of us younger women in church. She asked this question, “Why am I still here? What good am I?” We told her God was not done with her yet and she still had some things to accomplish before she got to go home. We went on to say she was teaching us about how to grow old gracefully and she was teaching us how to live in a positive manner. She lived for a few more years before her batteries finally died and she went home to God. 
God tells us in the Bible, 1 Timothy 5:1-2 “Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.” (ESV) 
Titus 2:1-6, “But you should talk in a way that is consistent with sound teaching. Tell the older men to be sober, dignified, sensible, and healthy in respect to their faith, love, and patience. Likewise, tell the older women to be reverent in their behavior, teaching what is good, rather than being gossips or addicted to heavy drinking. That way they can mentor young women to love their husbands and children, and to be sensible, morally pure, working at home, kind and submissive to their own husbands, so that God’s word won’t be ridiculed. Likewise, encourage the younger men to be sensible”
I love this passage it tell us they are to be mentors to us younger ones. The term mentor means teacher, counselor, guide and guru. If I am seeking someone who is going to teach me, or guide me or be my guru I certainly would want someone who has been through it and knows what lies ahead for me. I have several older women in my life that I just love to listen to. I love their stories, their wisdom and I love the energy so many of them have left in them. Can I throw them out just because they have slowed down a bit? Can I discard them just like I do when I change batteries? I don’t think so. 
Now I know many of you are saying our churches or our committees (just like my toothbrush) would work so much better and faster if we’d just accept the change, discard those who needed discarded and move on, but I am thinking we would be missing out on a lot. I still have not changed the batteries in my toothbrush and I won’t until they are dead and my brush wont’ move. This has been an important lesson for me. I never want to miss out on something God has for me to learn just because the tool is older, slower and not up to today’s’ technology. 
What if God had a message, a lesson, or something He wanted you to know but it came through from one of our older generation and you threw it out before the message got to you? How disappointed would you be? 
Moses, Sarah and many more of our Biblical characters were from the older generation. God used them even at an older age. You just never know who or at what age God will use someone to teach, guide, mentor or be a guru for you. 
I think I will continue using my batteries until they take their last breath and I will continue looking to those who are older than me to guide me, teach me, and to be my guru. I will allow those who are spurting and sputtering to be my mentors and to seek their wisdom when I want to know what to do, or how to do it. What about you? Are you throwing out your batteries too soon? Are there still people in your life that you seek wisdom from even though they spurt and sputter? Or have you already gotten rid of those who are too sluggish and don’t’ have it in them anymore? If you have you might just have missed out on something God had in store for you. 
Dear God: I laugh when you teach me things through a toothbrush and batteries, but then I become amazed at the lesson. This is one I will always remember each time I pick up a toothbrush. Help me to remember to cherish those who have age on them. Help me to look to them for answers when I have questions and be with me as you seek to teach me through those folks who are slowing down. Remind me they still have a lot to offer me and never let me throw them out too early. Thank you for teaching, me, guiding me, and directing me. Thanks also for being my guru. Amen 

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