by Lydia Teh
30 May 2010

A few days ago, Su Yen came to me holding a pretend paper microphone in her hand. She stuck it in front of my face and asked, “Mummy, what do you want to be when you grow old?”

I was caught off-guard. We always ask children what they want to be when they grow up, and now this girl is turning the table on me.

After thinking for a few moments, I gave her some answers. Play with grandchildren. Write books. Go for holidays. Wake up late (scratch that, I’m already waking up late most days).

Then it dawned on me that God is missing on the list. Shouldn’t He be top of the list when I’m inching nearer to my grave? Actually He should be tops at every stage in our life but human frailty is such that we tend to put our Maker on the sideline until it’s about time to meet Him.

What do we do when we grow old? We can’t bear any more offspring but we can bear fruits of righteousness and be like Anna the prophetess who fasted and prayed daily despite pushing 84.

The silver-haired head is a crown of glory,

If it is found in the way of righteousness. – Prov. 16:31

Listen to Me, O house of Jacob,

And all the remnant of the house of Israel,
Who have been upheld by Me from birth,
Who have been carried from the womb:
Even to your old age, I am He,
And even to gray hairs I will carry you!
I have made, and I will bear;
Even I will carry, and will deliver you. – Isa. 46:3-4

Wisdom is with aged men,
And with length of days, understanding.

The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Those who are planted in the house of the LORD
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing. – Psa. 92:12-14

Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. – Luke 2:36-37