"It's Tough! But, We Can Do It!"

There have been a couple of seniors who have gained recent notoriety for their efforts during this season surrounding Covid-19. Captain Tom (now Honorary Colonel) Moore, former British Army Officer during WWII, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth. At 100 years of age, he has raised over 40 million dollars for his country's national health system by walking laps in the backyard of his home. The other inspiring story has come from 94-year-old Maye Krier, who as a teenager, worked at a Boeing factory making war planes during the same global conflict in which Captain Tom served. Maye and other young women who worked alongside her received the nickname, "Rosie the Riveter!" 

Krier would be in the news again 75 years later for her mask-making efforts during the Pandemic. She had already made over 300 protective masks for family and friends when she received an order for 1000 more and had to request help from others. When she posted her need for cloth and elastic on social media, the response was overwhelming! Ms. Krier said, "99% of Americans are so ready to do what needs to be done!" How inspiring!

Maye Krier, "Rosie the Riveter!"
NBC Universal/Harry/Bryan Bedder

My mother-in-law, Colette, Monique's mother, was born and raised in Paris, France. As a teenager, she too, experienced the Second World War. Hers was a first-hand account of bombing raids and rationing in that era. She was only 14 on June 3, 1940 when the German air force bombed the city killing over 250 civilians. Colette, her mother and sister survived amidst the uncertainty and threats of those days. It shaped their values. 

Many years later, Colette would counsel her daughter when she observed how wasteful Monique appeared to be in simply processing potatoes for a meal. Colette remarked, "I can see you have never gone hungry by the way you are peeling those potatoes!" Monique would never forget that lesson! It is true that we often learn lessons about hard work, perseverance, and commitment to family and friends from many of our older generation who have sacrificed so much to enable us to live richer and fuller lives today.

As a pastor, I have "stories to tell" about some precious and often, feisty mature adults who liked to brag that they could do things in their nineties that their 70-year-old grown children couldn't or wouldn't do! Rose B. was such an example of head-strong determination. This blessed saint has now gone on to be with her Lord (as well as her son) and I should note that she also had a rich French pedigree to her credit that she was quite proud of! I will never forget that toasty mid-July day I visited her. 

At 92 years of age, Rose was out painting her chain linked fence with metallic silver (and had it peppered all over her face to boot!), when I remarked, "Rose, you shouldn't get out in this kind of heat to paint! Can't you get your son or some other family member to help you?" And she proudly answered with an obvious smirk on her face, "Oh, I wouldn't bother him! He's too old to do this kind of work!" 😏

There is another example of sheer courage with determination in the Bible. This man's name is Caleb. He, along with Joshua and ten others, had been dispatched by Moses to go into Canaan to spy out the land God had promised to give them. When the investigative party had returned, they reported that indeed it was a land flowing with abundance like "milk and honey!" But, only Caleb and Joshua believed that this mission to resettle the land was possible. 

The other ten feared the "giant-sized" people of Anak who inhabited the land and said, "We seemed like grasshoppers in our own eyes, and we looked the same to them" (Numbers 13:33). With their fears and lack of faith, God's people rebelled against the Lord and His plan for them. Although Caleb and Joshua had insisted, "If the Lord is pleased with us, he will lead us into that land... he will give it to us" (13:8). Their faith report was denied! 

The people would wander in the wilderness for 40 years for their failure to accept God's word. At the age of eighty-five, Caleb would remark, "So here I am today... I am still as strong... I am just as vigorous to go out to battle as I was then. Now give me this hill country the Lord promised me that day" (Joshua 14:11). The irony is that he requested the territory of the "Anak giants!" These were the same people who stuck fear in the hearts of the people forty years before. What a tough assignment!

God blessed this man who had distinguished himself for following Him "wholeheartedly" (14:8, 9, 14). With the Lord's help, Caleb was able to conquer his adversaries of greater size and strength and to settle in the land of promise that God had given him! Is there a senior adult role model in your life who inspires you with their "can do spirit" of faith and determination? Listen to their wise counsel! Desire to be like them!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent.
Contact: drmjkeppler@gmail.com


  1. Most of our young people have never heard these stories. Do not know much history. What dishonor to all who paid a price for our freedom. Thank you God for your word. and thank you Mike for your words to us.

    1. Yes, I'm afraid that's true! All the more reason why it is important to tell our stories and relate our history to others!


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