Thursday, December 18, 2014

Aging God's Way

Chuckle: "I have this theory that chocolate slows down the aging process.... It may not be true, but do I dare take the chance?"
Quote: "Such to me is the new image of aging; growth in self, and service for all mankind." --Ethel Percy Andrus
    "Is not wisdom found among the aged?  Does not long life bring understanding?"  (Job 12:12 NIV).  "Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children" (Proverbs 17:6 NIV).
In God's Word, there are numerous references to the value and responsibilities of the aged.  Many societies around the world hold the elderly in the highest esteem.  They are honored, respected, appreciated, and protected with great and tender care.  They are recognized for what they can offer in the forms of wisdom, understanding, and insight.  I wish it were more so here in our society.  
We live at a time when the youthful look is worshiped.  People are drawn to all sorts of weird topical compounds, body-building contraptions, weight-loss plans, and even plastic surgery -- all touted to make us look younger and more beautiful.  With this emphasis on looking young, beautiful, and vigorous, we who are growing older sometimes feel as if we are being pushed aside and have little to offer.
We are tempted to think that life is virtually over for us, and that we are increasingly being ostracized.  If we aren't careful, we can easily allow our self-esteem to slip into the "pits."  But please don't let our youth-oriented culture put these monkeys on your back.  If you're physically able, get up out of that easy chair!  Stay active, both physically and mentally! Laugh a lot.  Find something useful to do consistent with any physical limitations you may have.  You are important to your God and those around you.  You can still make a difference in people's lives.
There is so much you can do to make your life and the lives of others better.  It all begins with attitude.  I've heard that aging is unavoidable but growing old is an optional state of mind.  However, when those aches and pains persist, we could argue with that conclusion.  But, there is much truth in it. If we come to the point where we see ourselves as useless, we will likely be useless.  But as long as we can face each day with joyful gratitude to God for life and the opportunity to serve him and others, we will be surprised at ways that God can use us regardless of our age or physical condition.
One week from tomorrow is Christmas Day.  If you are a senior adult who feels that the joy of Christmas has passed you by and is for the youth and children, may I suggest you find ways to bring joy to your age-group by your kindness and thoughtfulness.  As you bring joy to others, you will experience joy yourself.
"Esteem age and you will always have life to look forward to. Esteem youth and you proclaim your own obsolescence."

Love, Jerry & Dotse


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