Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Getting Younger

I received a letter from my mother this week and amidst all the newsy bits, she included this piece of wisdom:

“Some people are always excusing themselves for their looks, etc. So I said, ‘We are created by God, made in His image and then we look in the mirror and say, I don’t like it. Where does that come from?…’ The way I see it, the growing older, balding, greying, etc., it was all in God’s plan. Besides, the fountain of youth that we would all covet for our bodies is not as important as our character that we build by allowing the Holy Spirit to minister to us the Fruits of the Spirit.”

One of my main gripes about our current society is how we have made staying young more valuable than growing old. Now there are certain things that I deem are worth fighting against as we grow older, and they include the loss of such things as strength, vitality, flexibility, bone mass, general good health, a sense of adventure and a willingness to learn. But I will not fight against the maturing process, it is indeed something that is built into the very nature of being human.

Most people have a desire for a taste of the eternal, a dissatisfaction with the temporal nature of this life, and one of the ways this manifests itself is by people trying to feel and look younger than they really are. I caught a glimpse of a television show today called Ten Years Younger that gave people a makeover to help them achieve the illusion of youth. Why would anyone want to look ten years younger? What’s the point? I am 44 years old. People tell me I look much younger than that, at least from the back (haha), but in my opinion, I look exactly like a 44 year-old because it is how old I am. I define my age - my age does not define me. I have determined to take good care of this body, mind and spirit that God has given me, for I believe them to be priceless gifts, but I will most likely get old and die (Enoch being the one exception to that rule that I am aware of, so one can always hope). The sting of death has indeed been overcome through the life and death and resurrection of Jesus, and I am a partaker in the eternal life God offers, but the definition of this (eternal life) is to know Jesus, not to live in my body forever. If all the energy and resources our society spends on looking younger were spent on getting to know God – wow! Just stop and picture that world for a minute.


Thanks for the encouragement today, mother. I am blessed.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The way I see it, the growing older, balding, greying, etc., it was all in God’s plan."

So you think God predestined us to die?

Doug Floyd said...

Thanks Matte. Good words. My health condition makes me ever aware of the aging process, and it is teaching me to find joy in each new stage.

I know the other comment questioned your words, but I'm not sure we have to answer questions like that. All we know it what we have before. We don't know a world without death and we don't know what that world looks like.

In this world, dying is a part of living. In one sense, aging and dying make life heroic. We cannot see beyond this moment; we have no guarantee for the next moment. So we embrace the moment or better yet, we lay down our lives for others in the moment, realizing like George MacDonald that life really comes from death.