It takes a lot of trust in the Lord as we go through life. There are many myths about growing old. They fear it as a time when they will be alone, bored, useless or ill. But old age is not that way for most people. The majority of persons beyond retirement age consider life satisfying and definitely worth living.
Researchers find that old age doesn't bring many surprises. People who are well adjusted in middle age tend to be well adjusted during the golden years. And there is a certain exhilarating freedom that comes with the senior citizen status. It is no longer necessary to strive for professional recognition, These individuals have earned a chance to relax, to savor life, and to do some things they want to do.
Enduring to the end, as God instructed, does not mean simply lying back and doing nothing. It means continuing to set goals, to work, and to contribute insight, prospective and experience. A wise observer once said that to often in aging, people do things for the last time and not for the first time. If we reverse that process, that is, try it for the first time at whatever age, we will have an effective antidote against growing old.
Here are a few thoughts to ponder: First, make plans for the future-long-range, long-range goals along with plans for today and tomorrow. Second, exercise can accomplish wonders. And remember the heart, like the body, also needs exercise. There is practically nothing more stirring than two elderly people in love, each still finding in each other those qualities which were admired in youth. Third, as we grow older, we become aware of how little we know, and with this awareness comes again the child's sense we know, and with this awareness comes again the child's sense of wonder-but with increased power of judgment and discrimination.
Religious faith can also enrich our lives and help us through the stresses of everyday living, whether we are young or old. If we have developed faith in God, we are likely to have faith in others, and, most important, in ourselves. Faith in ourselves gives us peace and assurance that we will overcome difficulties and reach the goals of our lives. Those people who leave earth with a thousand unfilled dreams are probably the happiest older people during their later years. They are controlled not by the myths of aging, but the realities of living.
Pastor Hans Lillejord