In my spiritual life I have also found many things to be grateful for as I have aged. I am slower to judge; quicker to offer my time, and less scared about gently offering assistance requested.
Oh, I certainly miss the days of "all nighters" where I could run for a couple of days on a very few hours of sleep and keep on going. Now when I have to do that it takes me a week to recover any semblance of order in my life. I have always longed to be more disciplined in matters of healthy eating and exercise. Now that my body is a bit creaky here and there, it is its own best early warning system, making it easier to make wiser eating and exercise choices.
The things I accomplish might seem modest by the standards of a world who believes bigger and louder is always better. But I believe my improved patience (certainly not perfect) and ever deepening reliance on God have opened doors to offer comfort, hope and love in ways my younger self would have found amazing.
And I do love the diversity of folks I meet in prison related ministries. There are young people grateful to pay forward because they have known great mercy. But there are plenty of us with silver hair (maybe under a little color) and plenty of us wear glasses, some even have significant health issues and a cane shows up here and there. We believe that the opportunity to save a life is worth the effort, even though we are often not around to learn how the seeds we plant mature in the long-term.
But that is the strength of prison ministry. We are not there to change anyone or forced anyone or manipulate anyone. We just listen and love and offer our own faith, hope and experience so that folks who feel they have no future learn the truth: God is bigger than any mess we can make and always stands ready to heal us, teach us and guide us that we might lead lives of purpose and hope. If all my efforts lead to only one person experiencing that, then my time has been well-spent.
So I'll just be taking my old carcass and grey hair out and bear a little fruit today, that a man may be the father he longs to be, or a woman may heal from deep scars, or a young person may find their future, or an aged person might be freed from decades of bondage.
On the rock of Jesus love and righteousness I will build my life, a living sacrifice to hope eternal. All are welcome.
They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the Lord is upright;
he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him. - Psalm 92:14-15