My late father used to say, “Just wait till you get to be my age boy”.
Of course, like many of our parents that was one of many of my Dad’s favorite sayings to me throughout his long life of 83 years; from the time I can remember till just before he died.
The older we get, the more we tend to reflect on our age and the past. If it’s not the result of a deep lingering memory, it’s that old sports injury or new diagnosed illness which creeps up behind us, taps us on the shoulder and says, “you’re old”; you want to just turn around and slap it but then you realize you can’t turn around like that anymore.
None of us want to believe we’re getting older. I know a writer I met a few years back in her nineties told me she couldn’t believe she was as old as she was because she just didn’t feel like it.
One of my university “Geriatric psychology” professors used to say, “You can try to run from it, ignore it or simply change the subject but the fact is, if you’re lucky age will catch up to you.” Think about his remarks,”…if you’re lucky…”. He would also add, “If you’re not lucky enough, it won’t really matter and you and God can discuss what happened up close and personal”. Most of the class didn’t appreciate his dry humor at the time but it was his way of saying “don’t take life too serious”.
In other words if we’re fortunate enough to experience all that accompanies a long life, we will have aches, pains, difficulties and the emotional stress of moving forward in time and “getting old”.
A Christian Psychologist colleague of mine (who is no spring chicken) says repeatedly that the older we get the more important it is to have a daily personal reaffirmation which involves positive affirmation about our present life situation; regardless of our current circumstances.
Everyone should formulate their own daily plan. My simple fifteen to thirty minute daily “re-affirmation” (reaffirming the life God has given me) usually goes something like this: I pray thanking God for today, my life, my family, church and our nation. As an epileptic I also ask for a “seizure free day”. I sing one of my favorite praise choruses, “Let’s forget about ourselves and magnify the Lord and worship him”, I read scripture (currently reading through Proverbs and Ecclesiastes), I read a portion of a favorite book or two and finally I formulate a plan for the day.
We must never dwell on the past because we’ll never get it back. The past poisons and penetrates our mind and very ounce of our being; to quote a popular cliché’ of our day, “Just let it go”.
The bottom line is that each of us are “Ageless wonders”. Leave the past behind, don’t worry about the future and pursue the present.
Jesus said it best, “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest?” (Luke 12:25:26)
God bless your day.
© 2019 Lee W. Outlaw III, PhD