Current Events Monday: An Encouraging Word to Senior Adults

James Hassell   -  

Captain Kirk is finally going to space. On October 12, William Shatner will officially be the oldest person to fly in space at age 90. Shatner will join a few others on a brief rocket flight into orbit courtesy of Jeff Bezos’s company, Blue Origin. In fact, Shatner recently tweeted that he was now going to be a real “rocket man,” a fun poke at his satirical over-dramatization of the Elton John song.

You can read the story at this link: William Shatner Set to Blast Into Space on Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin (

Shatner calls his opportunity to venture into space a “miracle,” and he may not be too far off in his assessment. Even the creators of entertaining television and movie series like Star Trek did not envision some of our technological prowess evolving to such a level until some two or three thousand years from now. Granted, we can’t “beam” anywhere yet by simply transferring our body’s molecules (as cool as that would be), but we can get a 90-year-old into orbit. That’s not too shabby.

We also should consider the fact that someone of an advanced age like Shatner can still be open to incredible opportunities. The biblical narrative certainly makes a case for an active and lively senior adult experience! Consider just a few examples:

  • Sarah gave birth to Isaac at age 90.
  • Moses was 80 years old when he spoke the first time to Pharaoh. Aaron was 83.
  • Joshua led the people until he was “advanced in years.”
  • Daniel was likely in his 80s when thrown into the lion’s den.
  • The prophetess Anna was 84 when Jesus was born, and she began to evangelize about him at that point after a life of temple service.

The writer of Proverbs adds that, “Gray hair is a crown of splendor” (Prov. 16:31). Our culture today certainly glorifies being young, and some social scientists have even coined the term “neoteny” to describe how people desire to retain younger characteristics even into advanced age. More than likely the obsession with being young started for us Western people with the philosophy of Plato and the concern for making things new and different out of what came before us. Suffice it to say, the idea of staying “forever young” and “making progress” is considered by many in America to be a chief end of life.

Could it be however that God cares more for the heart than the wrinkles? Let’s be open to how God can and will use all of us today as we seek first the Kingdom of God.