The Inevitability of Aging — Carol McLeod Ministries | Find Joy in Your Journey — Carol McLeod Ministries | Find Joy in Your Everyday Life

Carol McLeod

(Photo: Unsplash)

We are all growing older, aren’t we?

None of us is immune to the process of aging as the years pass … as the months fly by … and as the weeks disappear.

The reality of time is impossible to escape.

We are all growing older year by year … month by month … day by day.

As the old saying goes … “Time waits for no man.”

Time moves on … hair grows grayer … joints become stiffer … and eyes diminish in power.

At this point in my life … I am fully aware that I have more life behind me than I do in front of me.

It seems that only yesterday I was a bride … and yet this summer I will celebrate my 45th wedding anniversary.

It was just hours ago that I was rocking my own sweet babies to sleep … and yet today I snuggled with one of my 9 grandchildren.

Where does time go?

That is an elusive and eternal question only God can answer.

He holds time and eternity in His massive and loving hands.

“He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.”

Ecclesiastes 3:11

This is what I do know … this is what I am sure of …

I am aging … but I refuse to grow old.

Aging is inevitable … but growing old is a choice.

I tend to be a great observer of people. 

I have observed, with intensity, others who are growing older. From some, I have learned how to grow old gracefully … from others I have learned how NOT to grow old.

I watch people in the grocery store … at church … and in my neighborhood.

I observe people from the grandstand of social media … from the perspective of personal conversations … and I vividly remember the lives of those who have stepped from time into eternity.

I think there is the gift of grace for growing older … if you choose to accept it, unwrap it.

Some people grow bitter and more crotchety as the years unfold … others become sweeter and kinder in the golden years of life.

“Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul. 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. In the central place of every heart there is a recording chamber. So long as it receives messages of beauty, hope, cheer, and courage, so long are you young. When your heart is covered with the snows of pessimism and the ice of cynicism, then, and then only, are you grown old.”

Douglas MacArthur

Who will you become?

As you walk from your 40’s … into your 50’s … then into your 60’s, 70’s and 80’s … who will you be?

You see, I don’t believe that your health dictates the personality of your elder years.

I don’t believe that your marital status has the final say in your behavior as you live out the last, fleeting taste of life here on earth.

It’s not your finances … your housing … your relationship with your family … or your weight that determines your ability to live well in the approaching decades of life.

It is youyou decide what kind of older person you will become.

“Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old by deserting their ideals.

Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up wrinkles the soul.”

Douglas MacArthur

I have made some determinants based upon my observation of others as well as my personal convictions.

This is the older woman I intend to be …

1 ~ I have purposed in my heart to grow sweeter as I grow older and not more cantankerous. I deeply desire for the fruits of the Spirit to become more delicious in my life the longer they are allowed to develop and ripen.

2 ~I have decided to think and act young for as long as I possibly can. Therefore, I will resist beginning any sentence with the words, “Well … when I was young …”

3 ~ I will declare this scripture every day: “The memory of the righteous is blessed!” (Proverbs 10:7)

(Now, I know that the above scripture can be interpreted several different ways, but I intend to speak a blessing over memory every day of my life. I want my mind to stay sharp and intact every day of every year of every week of my life!)

4 ~ I have determined not to talk about myself and my ailments constantly but to ask questions of others and to listen well. I will focus on the glory of an ordinary day, no matter how much my back aches … my feet swell … or my joints hurt. I will be outward in my attitude rather than inward.

5 ~ I am committed to being kind to those who must take care of me and not to be demanding. I will be thankful for the time and service of anyone who takes care of me whether it is family or a health aide.

6 ~ I will try my hardest not to complain or be negative but choose to be grateful instead. A lifestyle of thanksgiving will be abundant and rich as the years of my life fade away.

7 ~ I will make new friends and learn something new every day, no matter what the date on my birth certificate may say. My uncle took French classes at the local community college until he was in his early 90’s! Now … that’s what I’m talking about!

8 ~ I will take care of my appearance as long as I am able. I will get out of bed and prepare carefully for the day. I will be aware of my personal hygiene, how I look and what I smell like!

9 ~ I will continue to read my Bible daily and to be a prayer warrior that hell fears and heaven applauds.

 If I can’t cook … I can still pray. 

If I can’t travel … I can still pray.

If I can’t get out of bed … I can still pray!

“I think growing older is a wonderful privilege. I want to learn to glorify God in every stage of my life.” Elisabeth Elliot

10 ~ I have decided to sing myself into heaven. I will sing with joy every day. I will worship the Lord on every day of every week of every month of every year of every decade of my life. Age will not deny me the delight of worshipping my Lord and Savior!

Do you have any advice for those of us growing older?! 

Oh … wait a minute … that is you, too!! You are growing older with me!

Thanks for listening to my heart this week.  As you know by now, my heart is truly not a perfect heart, but it is a heart that is filled to overflowing with gratitude for the life I have been given and for the people who walk with me.  And, it continues to be a heart that is relentlessly chasing after God and all that He is!

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