A Discipline for Declining Days

2 Aug

Thoughts on aging gracefully while still making significant contributions to society.

It ain't over 'til it's over!

At least three more of our fellow-classmates have died in the first half of 2011. I say ‘at least’ because we’re only sure of three. For those of us that remain and about to start turning 70, it may be a good time to face some of the challenges/advantages of our ‘senior’ years.

As an intro to the subject, I want to quote some things found in a book called “The Disciplines of Life” written in 1948 by the then President of Wheaton College, V. Raymond Edman.

”And it came to pass, when Samuel was old. .
  (I Sam. 8:1)

   There are disciplines of childhood:
diligence to obey parents and decision to accept the gospel invitation; of adolescence: dependability, delight, determination, and discipleship; of  mature years: duty, darkness, delay, diversion, distinction; there is also that of old age.

It is different from earlier disciplines;nevertheless, just as real, with results for good or ill that can help or hinder the rising generation. Samuel,
the last of the judges of Israel, affords an excellent illustration of this discipline of declining days.

At Southeast we were taught certain ‘disciplines’ including the virtues of the Roundtable. Our Principle & Vice Principle were men of disciplines.So we know not to be afraid of that word.

 Declining years bring decrease of activities and responsibilities. The Tireless
Thirties and Roaring Forties have given way to the Sensible Sixties and the
Slackening Seventies. To grow old gracefully and graciously is a triumph; not to do so is a tragedy. There are those who will never admit to themselves or to
others that they have passed the period of their effectiveness and service; and
with hard hand and harsh voice they insist upon their place and position, which long since they have ceased to fill…

 The discipline of declining days that comes when days wane and strength
subsides, when doors close and comforters depart, when others bear the heat and the burden of the day; then to grow old graciously and sweetly; to grant
responsibilities to stronger, though less experienced, hands of our sons or
those of others; to adapt oneself to the demands of a new day; and above all, to
pray for others and to serve the Lord in whatever hidden ministry may be ours.
Thus disciplined in spirit we are sweetness and strength to those who need us

-Go here to continue reading

We have lots to live for & look forward to in the future years if we will accept the challenge. Besides, we can count on our classmates to encourage us along the way!

SE_alumni_newsletter_July_2011  includes interview w/ Preston Washington, Class of ’62.

Related post: Tuskegee Airmen Mark 70 Anniversary


5 Responses to “A Discipline for Declining Days”

  1. Toddy2 August 3, 2011 at 12:10 pm #

    from Dean Sparks via e-mail:

    Thank you for sending this to me and, of course, to others. I had begun to have some of those feelings and thoughts myself, so these excellent exhortations were most appropriate and timely.

    A discipline of teaching and praying, rather than doing, makes so much sense to me, and provides clarity to the future. Thanks again John,


    • Toddy2 August 4, 2011 at 8:07 am #

      Thanks Dean, as always for your comments. I appreciate so much your work in behalf of our class of ’60, but what you have done in getting the Aumni Association of Southeast together. Congratulations to all of you for the Inaugural edition of the Alumni Newsletter! It looks great.

  2. Toddy2 September 9, 2011 at 8:21 am #

    A question for Class of ’60- How has September 11, 2001 affected you and your family personally? There are probably as many different answers to that question as there are Americans alive on the 10th anniversary. Reading just a sampling of them has been an incredible glimpse of our fellow Americans.

    Here are just two that you probably won’t read in the secular reporting.


    Your comments are welcome!

  3. Toddy2 May 3, 2015 at 11:50 am #

    Reblogged this on E4unity : A Prophetic Advocate for Unity and Peace and commented:

    Disciplines for the age of declining years.

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