So we do not lose heart. Though our outward nature is wasting away, our inner nature in being renewed every day. –2 Corinthians 4:16
My friend and colleague Karen O’Connor once wrote a book, Getting’ Old Ain’t for Wimps. The older I get, the more I realize how true those words are. It seems that with every year, something on this old body quits working, or quits working the way it should, and never gets back to “factory settings.”
I say “factory settings” because a computer can be restored to the settings that were on it when you purchased it. The problem is a reset erases all the information you have stored. I may be able to reset my computer—and even my cell phone—back to the way it was when it was brand new, but that has both positive and negative effects. On the positive side, resetting it will get rid of the junk that I don’t know about or understand that’s using the memory and slowing my computer down. On the negative side, resetting would cause me to lose things I don’t want to lose, things I worked hard to produce.
So it is with our bodies. We may wish to be young again, to have the health and vigor we had back in the day. But then I don’t want to lose all the wisdom, knowledge, and experience I’ve gained over my lifetime.
Solomon advises in Ecclesiastes: “Do not say, ‘Why were the old days better than these?” (Ecclesiastes 7:10).
They were better because I had my health. My dreams and my future all still lay before me like a field of unbroken snow. But I was clueless, selfish, and without God, and I do NOT want to go back to that state.
I’m in my mid-sixties now. I never thought I’d come to the point where health would be an issue. But here I am, researching natural ways to deal with the breaking down parts of my body rather than ingest more chemicals that may be more harmful than good.
My memory is slowing down, my blood pressure is speeding up, my energy is decreasing, my aches are increasing (Where? Everywhere!). I have more people in my life to worry about, but that means I have more love—to give and to receive.
I’ve lost loved ones, and the older I get, the more I stand to lose. But also, the more I get to love, as my family grows with grandchildren, and in a few years, great-grandchildren.
But I do not fear growing older, even with certain grief and pain and loss that is sure to come, as it does to all who live long enough.
I do not fear because I have a soul that is eternal, that isn’t wasting away like this old body is, but is being renewed daily.
I do not fear because faith, hope, and love are growing daily.
I do not fear because I will never be alone. My God is with me now, and He will always be, as He promised: “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he; I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you” (Isaiah 46:4).
When the aches and pains (inner and outer) remind me of how old I’m getting, Lord, YOU remind me of how young my spirit is. Amen.
For more information about KAREN O’CONNOR, her books, and her refreshing perspective on life, visit her website. You can even sign up for her Senior Moments e-newsletter and blog, The Bright Side of Aging.