Wrinkles, graying hair, excess weight, loss of hearing, and dimming eyesight remind us that we are aging. We all grow older without effort; however, growing up in all areas of our lives is hard work.
Our local TV news featured a segment on staying young. It showed how men and women are looking and acting younger than their years, sometimes ten to fifteen years younger. Through exercise, healthy diet, lotions, herbs and vitamins, Botox treatments, cosmetic surgery, and a youthful attitude, the women featured on the program looked many years younger than their chronological age. It was impressive. At the end of the segment, a doctor commented that maintaining our health and a positive outlook are important for any age.
However, if our focus in life is on staying young, then we run the risk of losing the benefits that come with aging. Some older men and women have not developed emotional and mental maturity, which could lead to more divorces and unwise long-range decisions about relationships and finances.
Finding a balance is a challenge in a world that craves youth and views aging as a curse to be avoided at all costs. As followers of the Lord, we need His wisdom to become mature adults who can be healthy in body, mind, and spirit. With His help, we can accept the aging process without fear of missing out on life. Aging is a natural part of living and can be appreciated if we keep Jesus as our focus, rather than never-ending youth.
As senior citizens, we have lived through experiences that can enable us to help others through similar situations. Opportunities in our church, neighborhood schools, and shelters for abused women and children are only a few areas where mature men and women can minister.
Part of the aging process is the Lord's way of helping us let go of the people and possessions to which we tend to cling. Our children grow up, leave home, and marry. We come to a time when our home is too large or is too much for us to maintain, so we move to a smaller residence. We begin the task of disposing of items we have treasured through the years. As we age, our physical abilities limit our activities, and beloved family members die. This sounds grim, indeed. However, with each experience, we see our lives moving closer to the time when we will be with our Lord, so our earthly focus begins to change.
Our senior years can be a time for us to reevaluate our lives. Perhaps we have relationships to reconcile, wrongs to forgive, and goals to realign. Aging can help bring a depth and peace to our lives when we use our opportunities wisely.
It is good to maintain a healthy lifestyle through a proper diet, exercise, and keeping ourselves mentally active and neatly groomed. However, as Christian senior citizens we should maintain a balance, which is as necessary now as it was in our youth.
I am asking the Lord to help me age in a manner that is pleasing to Him, and to make the last years of my life to be more productive for Him than my early years. Aging is not a curse. Aging can be an opportunity to be an example of God's love and grace to our family and friends.