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Do you remember when you couldn't wait until you turned another year older? 
Our youngest daughter is counting down the days until she will be 8. 
I contrast her excitement with a phone call I had with my grandfather who is 88 and is recovering from a bad fall and is struggling with several of the new challenges his age is presenting. 
Aging is interesting, isn't it? 
It can be hard. 
I am at a stage in life where my own children are rapidly growing (way too fast, it seems), and my parents are happily retired but are giving extra time and emotional energy to caring for their own aging parents. I have three remaining grandparents, two of whom are struggling with dementia. One of Laura's grandmothers, who is also deep into a journey with dementia also, recently wrote something down that I have found interesting to ponder. 
For many of her more recent elderly years, Laura's grandmother had filled her days with prayer. I remember walking past a couch she was resting on and overhearing her deep in conversation with Jesus. It was beautiful and very inspiring. 
Just recently, though, she wrote an interesting note on the calendar in the home she lives in. 
"Where is my place in your prayer army, Lord?" 
The words she penned seem to reveal that dementia is now interfering with her prayer life. No doubt, this is troubling to her and calls into question her sense of purpose right now. 
While prayer has been a very noble purpose and use of her time in recent years, her life still brims with wonderous purpose as long as her heart is beating. Her purpose is: to be loved. 
Interestingly, when a human is born, there is nothing they can do to fulfill a purpose in any way for several months to begin their life. The baby's purpose is to be loved. And, it seems, that toward the end of life, many of us will return to a state where the clearest purpose is, again, to be loved. 
This makes me wonder if, in spite of all the other purposeful things we can orient our living activity around, perhaps our primary purpose all along -and for eternity- is to be loved. 
"And now these three remain faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love." 
1 Cor 13.13
"Behold what manner of love the Father has given unto us"
1 John 3.1
Would you let Jesus affirm you with His pure and true love today? 
How could you make sure someone in your life knows they are loved today? 
Maybe we could each consider someone else that comes to mind today who may not have as many abilities or as much care as they could use. Not everyone is so fortunate to receive the love they are worthy of. Could you love them in some way today? 
These are good things to ponder.
These are good things for us to act upon, while we are able. 
Pastor Mike