Appreciating Aging!—Part 2

April 2, 2020

By Maria Fontaine

Audio length: 7:48
Download Audio (7.1MB)

For you who wish to read more about how to appreciate the aging journey in your lives or the lives of others and how to age victoriously, I’m going to be sharing some of the many positive things that others have said on this topic and commenting on several.

“The gift of these years is not merely being alive—it is the gift of becoming more fully alive than ever.”—Joan Chittister

“You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.”—Samuel Ullman

As Jesus said, we need the faith of a little child to enter His kingdom. It’s that complete trust in Him that frees us from the limitations of our time-bound existence. It’s believing in His absolute love that liberates us to experience the many possibilities that are ours in Him.

The only things that can bind us are doubt, fear, and the despair that comes when we allow ourselves to shift our focus from Jesus to the things of this earth that are temporal. They restrict our vision, blinding us to the truth of who we are as God’s children.

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.”—Henry Ford

“The end-time of life is one of its best. Certainly one of its most important. This time, the end-time, is the time for melting into God, for putting down the ragged remnants of the past, for learning to live in the present and finding it enough. For learning to live with life as it is, and finding it enough. For learning to accept ourselves and all we have learned as a result of it, and finding it enough.”—Joan Chittister

“The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.”—Madeleine L’Engle

“Some people, no matter how old they get, never lose their beauty; they merely move it from their faces into their hearts.”—Martin Buxbaum

Of course, that inner beauty in someone’s heart has a way of continually popping out of their eyes and dancing across their face. I think an elderly person with a glorious smile on their face is one of the most beautiful things in this life, perhaps second only to the same thing on a baby’s face. They both have a quality of purity about them that comes from the heart. I have been struck by this several times, especially when I’ve been in gatherings of Christians with elderly people present. Some of them were so radiant that it truly seemed like they were reflecting a beautiful, heavenly light no matter how wrinkled and “old” they might have looked in the natural.

“It’s important to have a twinkle in your wrinkle.”—Author unknown

We have Jesus, and no matter how many years we’ve been on this earth, He can ensure that the “twinkle in our wrinkle” is His “shine divine,” because, for all that life has thrown at us, we’re still here, still trusting Him, and still able to share the compassion, love, and comfort with others that He has given to us.

“When grace is joined with wrinkles, it is adorable. There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age.”—Victor Hugo

I wonder if the reason the Lord gives us those wrinkles in old age is as an illustration, to show everyone that for all our lifetime of learning and growing and the great volume of experiences held within us, there’s still so much more room to stretch and expand! I want to join those wrinkles with His grace for as long as I have them!

“You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.”—George Burns

“To age well, there seem to be three major commonalities: passion, perspective on life, and persistence.”—Author Unknown

“Old age ain’t no place for sissies.”—Bette Davis

Perhaps that’s why God has placed the experience of aging, with all its aches, pains, and frustrations, at the very end. It takes a lifetime to grow the patience, endurance, longsuffering, and stubborn determination to make it through that final stretch to the finish line.

“The soul’s dark cottage, battered and decayed,
Lets in new light through chinks that time hath made.”—Edmund Waller

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”—Les Brown

“Those who give up their denial of age, who age consciously, grow and become aware of new capacities they develop while aging. [They] become more authentically themselves.”—Betty Friedan

As we get accustomed to our older age and feel more comfortable with it, we can accept that the end of our earthly life is drawing closer. What was once a distant dot on the horizon begins to loom large and beautiful.

“Old age is not when we stop growing. It is exactly the time to grow in new ways. It is the period in which we set out to make sense of all the growing we have already done. It is the softening season when everything in us is meant to achieve its sweetest, richest, most unique self.”—Joan Chittister

“But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted to the LORD’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green. They will declare, ‘The LORD is just! He is my rock! There is no evil in him!’”—Psalm 92:12–151

“For I am sure of this very thing, that the one who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 1:62

“Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.”—Isaiah 46:43

“They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green.”—Psalm 92:144

“So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.”—Psalm 71:185

Originally published February 2017. Adapted and republished April 2020.
Read by Carol Andrews.

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