Thought for the Week: With age comes experience

hNext week is my birthday and I will qualify for a senior railcard.

Approaching 60 inevitably creates mixed feelings. One headteacher told me he was retiring at 60 because all his contemporaries had.

Yet many then still have much to give. You may have less energy – but perhaps only because your job has got more demanding over the years.

A while ago, I took part in two interview processes.

One was for a clergy post and the senior clergyman interviewing commented that at 54 it was one candidate’s “last chance for a big job”.

At an NHS interview, I was told someone over 60 could not be considered.

I am pleased that no one so far has said Mitt Romney cannot become the American President just because he is 65.

The best leaders are often the ones who can use their vast experience to find the best solution for the occasion. God chose older people like Elizabeth and Joseph, Simeon and Anna to be a vital part of Jesus’ boyhood. Just look at the number of grandparents picking up their children from school. They still play a vital role.

PETER GARLAND

Vicar of St John’s Spalding with Deeping St Nicholas and Chaplain to the Johnson Community Hospital