Let’s see, now. I have had cancer. I have lost half of my colon. I have arthritis. And I could list several other physical ailments and conditions. Poor, poor pitiful me! I am also 71 years old and nearing 72, and my body is gradually breaking down. Well so what!?
Have you known senior citizens and elderly folks who seem to think thay have been singled out for punishment by growing old? I have known several, and they convinced me to not be one of them. There are not many things more tedious and boring than crotchety old people.
Solomon wrote Ecclesiastes toward the end of his life, but he accepted his own old age as just one facet of the emptiness of taking this life too seriously. Consider what he wrote in order to keep us from letting growing old take us by surprise.
“Don’t let the excitement of being young cause you to forget about your Creator. Honor Him in your youth before the evil years come–when you’ll no longer enjoy living. It will be too late then to try to remember Him when the sun and light and moon and stars are dim to your old eyes, and there is no silver lining left among your clouds.”
“For there will come a time when your limbs will tremble with age, your legs will become weak, your teeth will be too few to do their work, and there will be blindness too.”
“Then let your lips be tightly closed while eating when your teeth are gone! And you will waken at dawn with the first note of the birds; but you yourself will be deaf and tuneless, with a quavering voice.”
“You will be afraid of heights and of falling–a white-haired, withered old man, dragging himself along; without sexual desire, standing at death’s door, and nearing his everlasting home as mourners go along the streets.”
“Yes, remember your Creator now while you are young–before the silver cord of life snaps, and the golden bowl is broken; before the pitcher is broken at the fountain and the wheel is broken at the cistern; then the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God who gave it. All is futile, says the preacher; utterly futile.” Ecclesiastes 12:1-8 (TLB)
So what did Solomon mean for me as I am nearing age 72–to remember my Creator while I am young? Simple! In this present moment, I am as young as I will ever be. And if I have not set about to remember my Creator already, today is the day to start. I will not get any younger than I am right now.
As I see it, I can whine and moan about growing older, or I can use my time getting to know my God more deeply and intimately. My attitude about my aging process will be determined almost completely by how much of my life I have relinquished to my God for His care and keeping.