Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. That puts me smack in the middle of a booming demographic. And it felt that way too. It seemed that my "class" was always bigger than any class that had gone before. Numbers-wise, my demographic was blowing the doors off everything and everywhere I went. Sister Joan, in today's reading, reminds me that that will continue to be the case until I die. I will turn 70 in 2026 and I will be part of the largest 70+ generation in history in the United States--probably anywhere for that matter. How's that for an accomplishment?
No doubt, all of us Baby Boomers are going to shake up old age like never before There is boldness in numbers. We're going to make a mission out of this misery if it kills us. Dylan Thomas set the rhetorical stage for us: "Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light." He wrote that in 1947.
I think I am going to be much more appreciative of being one of a big crowd in my 70's than when I was in my late teens...when it seemed there was never enough room!
There is much that remains to be accomplished as we age...and much that can ONLY be accomplished because of our age. That seems to be the central message of our reading for today. I'm doing my best to grow into that conviction. It takes time.
In his book, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation, Parker Palmer writes, "Each time a door closes, the rest of the world opens up. All we need to do is stop pounding on the door that just closed, turn around--which puts the door behind us--and welcome the largeness of life that now lies open to our souls. That door that closed kept us from entering a room, but what now lies before us is the rest of reality."
I have spent way too much time in my life pounding on closed doors. How about you? Perhaps the great accomplishment of aging is finally learning the art of turning around to see the largeness of reality that lies before us.
The Apostle Paul writes (from a prison cell of all places), ""forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14).