Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Too old?

Sarah is not my name. It is the name I have chosen to use on my blog. I have chosen it for a reason.

9 They said to him, "Where is your wife Sarah?" And he said, "There, in the tent." 10 Then one said, "I will surely return to you in due season, and your wife Sarah shall have a son." And Sarah was listening at the tent entrance behind him. 11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, "After I have grown old, and my husband is old, shall I have pleasure?" 13 The Lord said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh, and say, "Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?' 14 Is anything too wonderful for the Lord? At the set time I will return to you, in due season, and Sarah shall have a son." Genesis 18:9-14

Last summer I was thrilled to be accepted into the process of discernment for Ordination to Deacon in the Episcopal Church. The first question I asked of the committee was “Am I too old?” and they assured me I was not. I completed the process and received a beautiful letter of recommendation to go forward in the ordination process. Six weeks later I was called and informed that the Church had changed canon law at National Convention (in 2006) making 72 the mandatory age of retirement for deacons. I was disqualified before I got out of the starting gate! I was very disappointed and confused about the “call” that I felt. I was “too old” after all.

During the discernment process I had chosen to meditate on the above scripture concerning Abraham’s wife, Sarah, who was blessed by God and gave birth to a child when she was “too old” to have a child. There are many ways of bringing forth new life and that was my prayer. To bring forth new life in old age.

It is still my prayer. And this blog is somehow part of gestation. I am awaiting the birth of new life. What form that new life will take I haven’t a clue. Meanwhile I am pursuing the path that I had hoped to pursue as a deacon. I am involving myself in additional interfaith activities. And I am exploring the experience of growing older and what it means to be “too old.”

Old age comes from God, old age leads on to God, old age will not touch me only so far as He wills.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

1 comment:

  1. I love how Sarah says :"Shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?"

    She wasnt too concerned that she was going to have a child, rather, she was thinking about the process..if you know what I mean..

    Sex appeal really is one of God's gifts and unfortunately, one of the least taught about in church..

    I wonder if Sarah and Abraham were really grey haired seeing that 2 kings lusted for Sarah... and they were heathen so they saw physical beauty instead of spiritual beauty..

    The Bible really can be the most entertaining read at times.. praise Jesus..