‘The fear of the Lord adds length to life…’ Proverbs 10:27 NIV
The secret of ageing well is staying young at heart, staying close to God, and staying fully engaged with life. The mirror isn’t your problem; how you see yourself is. Have you noticed how ‘young’ some older people are, and how ‘old’ their peers seem? Seeking the elusive fountain of youth isn’t the answer, nor is surrendering to time and fate. Rather, do these two things. First, be realistic! Nothing is sillier than a woman made up to re-create what she hasn’t been for decades-except an older man in an unbuttoned shirt flashing jewellery intended to recreate the macho image of a lost youth. When you are comfortable with your age and stage of life, others will be too. Solomon points out that age decreases vigour, dims vision, slackens muscles, stiffens joints, whitens hair, and so on (Ecclesiastes 12:1-5). Vitamins, exercise and a good attitude help, but you must be realistic in order to handle ageing with dignity. Secondly, keep giving. ‘Give generously, for your gifts will return to you later. Divide your gifts among many, for you do not know what risks lie ahead.’ (Ecclesiastes 11:1-2 NLT) Don’t stop investing your energy and resources into God’s Kingdom because you think it’s time for the young folk to take over. If you do that loneliness and depression will set in, and illness and death often soon follow. When you shut the door, draw the curtains and isolate yourself, you’re old at any age. But when you stay in the mainstream, give yourself to God and others, you’ll stay young all your life!
SoulFood: Job 38-39, Luke 19:28-36, Ps 38:13-22, Pr 8:24-26