No Need to Be ProductiveNew Every Morning | March 21, 2021
At ninety, I need some social interaction; but more and more, I prefer my solitude. In my earlier years of being older, I favored my “Martha” side, staying active with writing and volunteering for people with dementia and offering support for caregivers. I still needed that activity then to feel significant and needed. Now, I focus on my “Mary” side, where I can be still and listen to the Holy Presence. There is no need, any longer, to be productive but much more need to be contemplative.
—Richard L. Morgan, Light of Setting Suns: Reflecting on Realities and Mysteries at Ninety Years of Life (Upper Room Books, 2021)
In what ways have you relinquished the need to be productive as you have grown older? Join the conversation.
[Martha] had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying.
—Luke 10:39, NRSV
Prayer for the Week
Lord of all ages, I feel blessed that you have given me these
bonus years. Help me to live each day as if it were my last,
redeeming whatever time remains. Amen.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
Find out how author Richard L. Morgan has stayed resilient into his 90s despite the many losses that accompany later life. Read more about him here.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.
When I retired at 60, my productive work that enabled retirement stopped, but a new productive began with my model train hobby, and as the opportunity came along I have more recently enjoyed Bible study. I have been an advocate for many causes during retirement as well. I do think our productive desire changes focus, but as long as we are able it doesn’t diminish.
Blessings to you on this Sunday, spring is officially here, the maple sap is running, hope to see it being boiled, and syrup made. Face Time with my daughter soon, then ZOOM worship and this afternoon a railroad historical society board of directors meeting. Prayers for peace, reconciliation, social justice, and the end of systemic racism, a big wish list, but with God it is all possible. Thank You, Lord.
One thing that causes me to pause in my busy-ness is injury. I seem to be injured easier and it takes so much longer to recover. I suppose the current pain of my leg/knee has me noticing this. I hurt it in h’s room because of his hoarding which is escalating. That was two weeks ago and I am still in so much pain.
Prayers for Robert and his continued productivity, may it continue unimpeded by health issues.
Prayers for Marcy, who I spoke with yesterday. She is suffering withdrawal symptoms following her abruptly stopping a medication. The side effects precluded her taking it any longer.
Prayers for Ally and David and lewis kitty. Prayers that the vet was able to find an appropriate antibiotic to address Lewis’s sniffles. Prayers for Ally’s health, may her doctor find the reasons for her GI issues. Prayers for David’s continued improving health.
Prayers for Jill as she spends the day grading.
Prayers for the UR administrators.
I may have mentioned this memory before, but I think of it often. While in personal retreat at a convent, I had a wonderful conversation with an senior sister from another area who was also in retreat. She told me that the most important lesson God had taught her about prayer was to LISTEN. As I have gotten older, I try to take this to heart and instead of always feeling I should be doing something or yammering at God, I try to be still and listen for God’s voice. I’m not always successful and feel God extends God’s gift of grace when I do yack, but I do try to listen and let the Holy Spirit fall fresh on me.
I praise God that David is doing so well. He is doing great with dressing himself and doesn’t even require assistance with putting on his shoes, which was a challenge. He needs only a little touch assistance with getting in and out of the shower. His core strength has improved dramatically. His main goal is balance without use of a walker. Thank you for your prayers and please continue to pray for achievement of his goals. I feel that this week I can resume job hunting. The companion/sitter business is kind of on hold, as my potential partner has taken a social work position and is moving further away. Praying about my next step in that regard. I’m thinking that with David’s issues, a telework position may better fit our needs. Please lift this up. Many praises to God that my cousin Rachel is home and recovering. Please continue to pray for the pancreatic islet cells placed in her liver to wake up and do their work making insulin. God is able. Kitty Lewis seems to be improving slowly. Vet was impressed that there was no congestion in his chest and advised that the antibiotics are doing their work. He ate better yesterday and drank well and is not dehydrated. Still going to give him lickable treats. Pray for his appetite and continued improvement.
Robert, in agreement with you that productivity doesn’t necessarily end, it just may change with age. Also in agreement with your prayers for justice and reconciliation. May it be so. Julie, praying that you find relief and healing for your pain. I pray for your and Megan’s safety and for peaceful resolution and justice in your divorce proceedings. Thank you for the update on Marcy. Many prayers for cessation of withdrawal symptoms. Please convey her our love. Prayers for Jill that even with grading, she can find some time to rest and enjoy this spring day. For all all, I pray that this time of Lent has prepared our hearts for Easter, that we remain safe, and find joy in our quiet Sunday. Blessings to all!
I have found the importance of rest…mental rest mostly – as the intensity of school days can certainly wear on me. I think, since my diagnosis about 3.5 years ago – I have been very in tune with my body. The friend with the same diagnosis, who came along side me spoke at great length about self-care. I think, being single, I was able to tend to this easily. But, now I have a much more attuned capacity. I try to listen to my body, but not over react. I think I have learned some hard lessons the last year or so with multiple medication changes…don’t under react either. Catch a flare early, as opposed to thinking you are 30 something and can’t just power through it. I felt a flare coming on in my hand about a month ago and immediately began a regimen of Naproxin. It worked and I have not had issues in about 2 weeks.
It was absolutely wonderful to be back at church today. The attendance was sparse at the early service. Yet, I saw a few dear friends from my small group of a few years ago – and even got a HUG! My first HUG in a year. Met at the park – a perfectly blue sky and no wind – and walked with the two friends I got matched up with for my church’s tiny group. The rest of my day I have been doing school work. The final grading period begins tomorrow.
I am hesitant to tear down my “office” set up in my solarium. But – I think even if I am deemed to be in “close contact” with someone who gets Co-vid – I don’t believe I will have to quarantine – because I am fully vaccinated. I am not sure of this. But I am sick of seeing the tables in my solarium – and think I will take some time to tear them down.
Love all these little movements back towards normalcy.