I don’t know what her religious history is, but I will assume that she either never had a real relationship with Christ, or she’d had one but walked away from Him because of some tragic event in her life. Perhaps my assumption is faulty, but I make it, nonetheless, because there’s a lesson we all can learn from what happened to me recently.
I hold a Bible study and time of worship at memory care facilities near my home. The residents all suffer from some form of dementia. Alzheimer’s seems to be the most prevalent.
The other day, as the care team brought each resident into the large meeting room, I greeted one of the women – I’ll call her Naomi – and welcomed her to our Bible study. She appeared to be in her late 80s. Maybe early 90s.
When I mentioned we were gathering for a Bible study, her countenance immediately changed. Her smile twisted into an agitated, angry glare. She shouted, “Bozo! Bozo! I don’t want to be here. Bozo!”
Needless to say, the caregiver quickly removed her from the room.
Of those who attend those weekly meetings, most remain quiet during our time together. But even those who are docile seem to come to life when I play old hymns like “Amazing Grace” and “Holy, Holy, Holy.”
I’ve been ministering at some of these memory care facilities for several years, and I think I know why some still sing along to the old hymns, and I think I know why others become agitated and insist on leaving ‘this Bozo.” It has to do with their relationship – or lack of relationship – with Jesus through the years, often beginning when they were young and healthy of mind and body.
When we’re young and trying to live close to Christ – or at the very least, not actively ignoring Him – then when we’re old and our brains enfeebled, we’re more likely to remain content to still hear about Him.
But when in our younger years we habitually walk away from Christ, when we’re happy to live according to our own desires and whims, then when we’re old and our brains become enfeebled, we still continue to resist Him.
And so, my point?
What are you doing today, while you’re still young and healthy of body and mind – what are you doing with your relationship with Christ?
You REALLY need to answer that question for yourself, because whether you realize it or not, you are laying down PATTERNS of life with – or without – Christ. And do not let yourself be seduced into thinking that when you’re older you’ll correct your life-trajectory. Such is NOT likely to happen. I’ve witnessed the truth of that statement time and time again over the decades as I’ve ministered to the elderly.
Again, I ask it because it is so important a question: What are you doing today with your relationship with Christ while you’re healthy in mind and body? What patterns are you laying down?