Truth – we are getting older. Soon, the candles on our birthday cake can set it on fire.
Being in an industry that thrives on prolonging a youthful appearance, I am immensely interested in anything anti-ageing. Recently, when my sister-in-law, Evelyn, sent me a Christian devotional sharing entitled ‘Insights into Ageing’, I was curious about the relationship between God and ageing.
‘The fear of the Lord adds length to life...’ Proverbs 10:27 NIV
When asked about the benefits of living to be 100 years old, one centenarian smiled and said, ‘There’s very little peer pressure.’ Thanks to medical science we’re living to our eighties, nineties and beyond. But living longer means dealing with the realities of ageing. Our youth-orientated culture often gives old age a bad image, but clearly God doesn’t agree. To Him, old age is the reward for a life well-lived, a privilege earned, an accomplishment worth celebrating, and wisdom shared to benefit succeeding generations.
Ageing – reward? Purleeeese…. *roll eyes*
Ageing is associated with ‘old’, ‘tired’, ‘old-fashioned’, ‘slow’….
Physically, it is also about creaky joints and stiff muscles, sagging skin and wrinkles.
Ageing is rarely about attractiveness and competence, which are also 2 things that we associate with acceptance.
With so much bad rap, can we blame ourselves for fighting so hard to maintain youthfulness and delay ageing visible ‘assault’ as much as we can? If ageing is so horrible, I think I’d say no to long life!
However, there is hope. I believe what significance we attach to ageing will affect our ageing outcome.
According to wikipedia……:
- “Ageing is the accumulation of changes in an organism or object over time.
- Ageing in humans refers to a multidimensional process of physical, psychological, and social change.
- Some dimensions of ageing grow and expand over time, while others decline.
- Reaction time, for example, may slow with age, while knowledge of world events and wisdom may expand.
- Research shows that even late in life potential exists for physical, mental, and social growth and development.
- Ageing is an important part of all human societies reflecting the biological changes that occur, but also reflecting cultural and societal conventions. “
Like I said, what significance we attach to ageing will affect its outcome.
If we think of ageing in words related to ‘growth’, ‘expansion’, ‘potential’, ‘development’, ‘knowledge’ and ‘wisdom’, we know that ageing can help us accumulate what we need to be more complete and whole as a person. If you relate ageing to Alzheimer’s, senility, bad joints, sickness and death, you’re not going to be great company to yourself and others.
Indeed, our physical bodies succumb to the effects of ageing, but that is just one dimension of our body, soul and spirit. Some dimensions grow and expand (I’m not referring to waist and hip circumference here!). As we face the inevitable process of our physical bodies ageing and going into the process of decline, let’s focus on the mental and social aspects that have great potential for growth. And this can only be done by making a conscious decision towards being a better ‘ager’.
Next: Steps to Ageing Well