By Warren Olson
Everyone ages… yes, everyone. But take one look at many older people today, and you might walk away with the impression that aging is something that should be fought tooth and nail!
So many people worry about their hair going gray, their face gaining wrinkles, and their bodies losing the vigor they once had. They’re so worried, in fact, that many will go to incredible lengths just to appear a few years younger!
But here’s an important truth I want you to remember: Time always wins.
It doesn’t matter what hoops we jump through to try and appear young, growing old is as sure as the setting sun. It’s going to happen. And we can either make the choice to resist aging, or we can embrace it with grace.
One reason so many struggle with the idea of aging is because they’ve fallen into the mistaken impression that life was just better when they were younger. They share stories with one another about how they miss the “good old days.” But if we’re honest, the good old days may not have been as good as we’d like to remember.
In their book, Improving with Age, Stuart and Jill Briscoe battle the “good old days” mindset head-on. Stuart writes…
When older men get together to tell war stories, we often give the inescapable impression, “The older we are, the better we were.” Memories fade, details get revised, and stories improve with every telling, so our revisionist personal history is understandable if not entirely forgivable! The reality is that we look fondly on the past because it reminds us of the days before we became diminished. Talking about it, frequently in embellished tones, helps us deal with the painful loss of energy, opportunity and influence that aging brings. Poet Thomas Campbell said it best: “Distance lends enchantment to the view.”
The truth is that trying to maintain our youth is simply an attempt to reclaim the past—a past that probably didn’t exist quite the way we’ve embellished it in our minds.
And getting older actually brings along with it some incredible blessings…
- First, age brings wisdom. And as you grow older, your life experiences enable you to speak truth into other people’s lives.
- Age also brings spiritual maturity. The Bible tells us that though “outwardly we are wasting away…inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).
- And, age gives you the chance to devote more time to God’s Kingdom purposes. When we retire, we essentially leave one full-time vocation for another – ministering to others. Retirement gives you the chance to make an ever bigger impact for the Lord!
Do you want to know the secret to growing old with grace? It’s embracing the benefits of aging. Don’t fear getting older. Look forward to how God is going to work in your life—and how He’ll use you to share His truth with others!