Old Age

Ninety-two years have lapsed since the year of my birth. There is not a person alive who can attest to that, but I know I was because here I am. I knew I was getting older, but I had no idea it would happen so fast.

For years I have dreamed of getting more mature, not realizing it comes from the passage of time.

As a youth I questioned whether I would live long enough to see the year 2000. Now that is so far past I barely remember that millennial night when folks sat up all night with their shotgun across their lap to protect their bottle water.

I am physically blessed for my age except for a few hitches in my giddy-up. I am not going to complain about those. A few years ago one of our sons-in-law, who is a physician, showed me a medical book over an inch thick listing most of the possible human ailments. Rather than complain about the few I have, I thank the Lord for the many I don’t have. It’s a wonderful life.

As many of our faculties decline our faith has the greater opportunity of growing stronger and enriching our life. Job properly noted, “With long life is understanding.” He further declared “… increased years should teach wisdom.”

Years wrinkle our bodies, but only to stop dreaming, imagining, hoping, and aspiring wrinkles the soul. The belief that youth is the happiest time of life is founded on a fallacy. We grow happier by giving ourselves to something bigger than ourselves. I did and still do. The happiest people are those who think the most uplifting thoughts.

Two varied sources of wisdom deserve to be heard on aging. The wise old baseball pitcher Satchel Paige asked, “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you was?” Well?

Abraham Lincoln reputedly said, “You are as old as your fears, and as young as your faith.”

Getting old is a blessing, not everyone gets to so why complain about being blessed. There really is a fountain of youth. Spain’s Ponce De Leon popularized the idea of a magic spring to be found somewhere in the New World. He was looking in the wrong place. It is within each of us. It is refreshed by the people we love, the talent we share, the giving of ourselves to the advantage of others. Drink deeply of it.

Being weighed down by “stuff” robs one of contentment. The most fulfilled person is the one preoccupied with laying up treasure “where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

The Jewish Torah shares this wisdom, “Spiritual aging causes one to become stagnant, and evaporates vitality and pleasure. It causes withering ….” To avoid such stagnation I want to perpetually keep seeking wisdom and knowledge. To do this I must “Study to show myself approved unto God … rightly dividing the Word of God” II Timothy 2:15.

When the time comes, as it surely will, that I draw my last breath may it be said of me as it was of Abraham, “Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life…” Genesis 25: 8.