Growing Older, Growing Closer
I'm considering writing a book, "things about growing old they didn't tell you when you were young". I'm fine tuning the title a bit, but basically that's it.
Every day, humans across our great world face things brought about by age that most of us had hoped to avoid. We all know that man or lady who grew old gracefully, and we never even knew that they had any health problems. They just seemed to age peacefully. Likely that wasn't the case at all, but just the part of their life we saw. We've all also had that special person that was struggling with severe hardship, that when you asked them how they were doing, they would answer "great, I'm really good". Most of us will land somewhere between those two extremes.
Our bodies age, stuff stops working or doesn't work right anymore, problems arise that cause us to adjust our strategy toward life a bit, and sometimes we have to undergo great stressful treatments to regain some sense of normalcy. All the while, something else is progressing to become a new problem. For most, it is a hop from one problem to the next once it starts.
It is comforting to know that as we age as a Christian, just the opposite is happening to our spirit. We are growing day by day, being renewed, gaining the upper hand. We know full well we are one day closer to seeing God, and that is a comfort, not a regret. We know that if our body takes a step in the undesirable direction, our spirit can take one step in a better direction, a step where we are stronger and better not weaker and worse off.
Paul spoke in 2 Cor 4 about this contrast. His concern was more about persecution, and the threat of death associated with that, that we don't worry much about in the good ole USA. His conclusion was this, "...we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." (4:16-18)
As we grow older, and our bodies change, we can't always do the physical things we once did. Perhaps this is so that we can focus more on things not of a physical nature. Our minds start to ponder the end of our lives, but for the Christian, there should be no fear in that, rather joy. Being human, none of us want to check out before our time, but we start to realize our time is coming, and we know it is a sure thing, and we ponder things that in our youth would never have crossed our minds. Let us grow in this, let us be encouraged, not distressed.
As we progress toward the inevitable, may we be fully prepared for the changes that will come, and embrace them. Let us recognize and seize the opportunities that God may place before us, opportunities where God may be revealed through our actions, words and the example we show.