by Brandy Webb
I reached, what I used to think, was the age considered old. You know the 'over the hill' time zone, the big 4-0! It is funny how getting older changes your perspective and definition for the term 'old age'. When I was young I thought 40 was sooo old. Now, my grandfather, who happens to be the young age of 96, doesn't seem old anymore.
What I am trying to figure out, though, is why do people fear getting old? The alternative is not better in my opinion. What is better to dread your birthday or rejoice? Living to your next birthday, no matter what number, means you just received a precious gift called one more year of life. I lived nearly a month in Texas Children's hospital when I was thirteen. I bet none of the kids that I met who had terminal illnesses would dread the opportunity to reach their 40th, 50th, 60th, or whatever nth birthday. They just wanted a chance to live.
We need to enjoy living. I know it isn't awesome when our bodies do not behave as young as our minds, but all those aches and pains mean you are still alive. Solomon makes it clear to enjoy living. He tells us over and over to enjoy the fruits of our labor all the days of our lives for they are gifts from God (Ecclesiastes 2:24, 3:12-13, 3:22, 5:18, 8:15, 9:7-9, & 11:9). We should rejoice each and every day, regardless if it is a day of trials or a day of blessings. Why? Because "[t]his is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalms 118:24).
I know that there are days that aren't easy to rejoice about. I know that as our bodies' age they don't function as awesomely as they did in our twenties. I also know that wrinkles and grey hair are not as glamorous as smooth skin and shiny hair. However, I do know that each day brings us closer to God's Kingdom, and it means you have lived a full life.
We should embrace our age as a blessing, not a curse. There are many people in my life that were not given the gift of getting 'old,' and I so wish they would have been able to age gracefully. So, instead of dreading, what I used to believe was the beginning of a rolling down the hill into the abyss of old age, I will embrace it. I will choose to give God thanks for blessing me with another decade of life.
The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old. – Proverbs 20:29
Therefore we do not despair, but even if our physical body is wearing away, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary, light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison because we are not looking at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. For what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18