This week I turned 55.
So I have been doing a little inventory regarding getting a little older.
Yes, I realize 60 is the new 30 but still…I am on a quest for aging well .
I want to borrow from writer Brenda Smith who learned the following lessons from observing her aging parents:
(1) Aging isn’t optional, being ‘old’ is. Keep making plans or you’re subconsciously giving yourself permission to die. Dad believed he owed rent on his earthly space and he paid it by giving back to others.
(2) God is real. Mom struggled with depression as her Parkinson’s disease progressed. However, she looked for God’s hand in everything, and a lifetime of believing helped her to see His sufficiency even more in her final years.
(3) Time is a gift. David said, “Teach us to use wisely all the time we have” (Ps 90:12 CEV). Dad told a friend of his, “When you’ve so little time left, you can’t spend it doing stupid things. You learn to invest in things that count.”
(4) Sickness doesn’t create sainthood. It’s a test of patience, emotional restraint and maturity. When Dad was incapacitated he discovered that old age and sickness don’t automatically draw you closer to God. He still had to discipline his mind to delight in the Lord and to find true joy in Christ.
(5) Laughter revives the soul. After her father became ill, Smith writes about how this revered writer, speaker and consultant, “ended up smiling as he stared down at his size 46 waistline that took a dive each time he stood up from his wheelchair!” When Mother Nature and Father Time get through with all of us, we’ll gaze into the mirror and either laugh or cry. Since “Laughter doeth good like a medicine” (See Pr 17:22), and since God’s prepared a wonderful new body for us in heaven, make up your mind to go out with joy!
And I would like to add a 6th.
(6th) Forgiveness plus good family and friends = hope for tomorrow. – There is so much talk these days about “sustainable living” without a lot of sustainable relationships.
Life without a lifetime of forgiveness is no life at all.
Here is a good quote to end this blog post tonight. “A good marriage is made up of two forgivers.” – Ruth Graham Bell
Oh and why not just throw this one in too.
(7th) Get outside and explore while you are able. Mark Twain said, “Twenty years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do, than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the wind. Explore. Dream. Discover.
Live long and prosperous my friend.
“I’ve run hard right to the finish, believed all the way. All that’s left now is…God’s applause!” 2 Timothy 4:7 TM