Monday, March 14, 2016

Changing roles

A friend and I were discussing how much our lives had changed as we have aged.   Recently I had to get hearing aids...and I might need a knee replacements, all those things we associate with being  old.   My grandchildren see this aging business through different eye, they never say,  Grandma, you are getting older, they just blurt it out, Grandma you are old.   Really it's not till stage 10 we see getting older possible in our life.  That's the age we wish we could live life over or have another life to live. 
The below is taken from a book by a Dr. Thomas Armstrong on how he sees the 12 stages of life.  But, I think he has left out one stage.  See if you can name it.  

  1. Prebirth:  Potential – The child who has not yet been born could become anything –
  2. Birth:  Hope – When a child is born, it instills in its parents and other caregivers a sense of optimism; a sense that this new life may bring something new and special into the world. 
  3. Infancy (Ages 0-3):   Vitality – The infant is a vibrant and seemingly unlimited source of energy. 
  4. Early Childhood (Ages 3-6):  Playfulness – When young children play, they recreate the world anew.  They take what is and combine it with the what is possible to fashion events that have never been seen before in the history of the world.  
  5. Middle Childhood (Ages 6-8):  Imagination – In middle childhoood, the sense of an inner subjective self develops for the first time, and this self is alive with images taken in from the outer world.
  6. Late Childhood (Ages 9-11):  Ingenuity – Older children have acquired a wide range of social and technical skills that enable them to come up with marvelous strategies and inventive solutions for dealing with the increasing pressures that society places on them. 
  7. Adolescence (Ages 12-20):  Passion -  The biological event of puberty unleashes a powerful set of changes in the adolescent body that reflect themselves in a teenager’s sexual, emotional, cultural, and/or spiritual passion.  
  8. Early Adulthood (Ages 20-35):  Enterprise –  It takes enterprise for young adults to accomplish their many responsibilities, including finding a home and mate, establishing a family or circle of friends, and/or getting a good job.  
  9. Midlife (Ages 35-50):  Contemplation – After many years in young adulthood of following society’s scripts for creating a life, people in midlife often take a break from worldly responsibilities to reflect upon the deeper meaning of their lives, the better to forge ahead with new understanding.  
  10. Mature Adulthood (Ages 50-80): Benevolence – Those in mature adulthood have raised families, established themselves in their work life, and become contributors to the betterment of society through volunteerism, mentorships, and other forms of philanthropy.  All of humanity benefits from their benevolence.  (Thats me, right there, in mature adulthood).  
  11. Late Adulthood (Age 80+):  Wisdom – Those with long lives have acquired a rich repository of experiences that they can use to help guide others.  Elders thus represent the source of wisdom that exists in each of us, helping us to avoid the mistakes of the past while reaping the benefits of life’s lessons.    
  12. Death & Dying:   Those in our lives who are dying, or who have died, teach us about the value of living.  They remind us not to take our lives for granted, but to live each moment of life to its fullest, and to remember that our own small lives form of a part of a greater whole. 
    Since I cannot go back through 1 to 9 stage  my only recourse is to trust Him to use me to give Him glory.  To use the wisdom I have gained from each transition to help someone maybe not make some of my mistakes and when they do, love on them with grace.    Help them to understand their mistakes do not have to define their life, they are only  part of life here on earth.   

Remember, I wrote there was one stage he left out, step 13, it's the icing on the cake. It makes all other stages pail in comparison.  I am sure you guessed it by now, it's the after life and it's as real as all the other 12 steps.  It's this step that I hold onto when I can't sleep because of knee pain or any pain this "older body" has.  There is more to His story living in me then getting older.   God does not want us to waste the stages of life.  

What stage of life are you in and how are you handling it?

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