The Ageing Process

Dear Neighbour,

I recently received an email about the process of ageing that made me laugh. It was a reminder of how children under the age of 10 think about their age in fractions, “I’m four and a half!”, teens are so excited about the whole process they proudly announce “I’m going to be 16 soon!”…

Then comes the greatest day of your life – you become 21, but a few years down the line you turn 30, sounds like sour milk! Then you describe yourself as pushing 40, and you shout, “Put the brakes on!”, because it feels like life is slipping away from you. By the time you reach 50 you begin to think that all your dreams are gone, but before you know it, you make it to 60, and you didn’t think you would. Once you hit 70, it becomes a day-by-day thing: you hit Friday. And once in your 80’s, every day is a complete cycle: you hit lunch, it turns 4.30 and you reach bedtime! An interesting phenomena takes place in your 90’s because somehow you start going backwards, “I was just 92” and then you start using fractionsagain, “I am 100 and a half!”

As someone who has reached my 50’s, I would like to give a word of advice and encouragement to all young adults: don’t worry about your age. I was at school with a friend who seriously thought of herself as old when she was only eighteen. A few weeks ago a young adult was bemoaning the fact that she was having her 25th birthday and she still didn’t have her degree. You may have heard of the wise saying, “It’s not how many years are in your life, but how much life is in your years”.

I believe that the secret to living and ageing well is living a life that is God-honouring. Instead of focussing on the years, begin focussing on God’s purpose for your life. God has His plan for each person, but sadly many people never realize their potential in God. Myles Munroe, a theologian/writer states that he believes the richest place on earth is the graveyard, with all the unused talents given by God, but sadly never utilised by people.

God says to you, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). Don’t waste your life trying to work things out yourself through trial and error, because you will only have a life full of regret to look back on. The best decision of my entire life was to become a Christian at the age of 19. God has an eternal perspective that you need and He will reveal it to you so that you will be able to make sense of your life. By the grace of God I learned these lessons early in life and with God’s help I am living a happy, productive, and content life despite the fact that Rheumatoid Arthritis has taken its toll on my physical body. And therein lies the secret…

You are more than just a body. When you make the decision to become a Christian, the greatest miracle of your life will occur – you become spiritually alive to God on the inside.

Sin stands in the way of a relationship with God. However, once you have asked Jesus to forgive your sins, that barrier is removed and a whole new world opens up to you. Sure, many people are ‘spiritual’ in the sense that they adhere to various religious beliefs, but that is not the same as becoming ‘alive to God’. For the first time in your life, you will be able to communicate freely with God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. You will experience Life in the Spirit, and not just physical life. Set your compass in line with God’s Word and you will discover that…

Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:17-18 New King James).

I think you will enjoy The Message version of the same verse:

Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18 The Message). ­

The best advice I can give young adults is to go after God with all of your heart, soul and mind, starting today. May your lives be amazing and may you experience His Life in your years.

x Libby