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.