Reflections for the Golden Years

Isaiah 46:4 And I will still be carrying you when you are old. Your hair will turn gray, and I will still carry you. Saith the Lord, I made you, and I will carry you to safety.

We all know that at any age there can be times when we seem to have a variety of aches and pains which prompt us to think that a personal MOT might be timely! The fact of having a few chronic health issues doesn’t stop the majority of our ‘good bits’ from functioning really well. Indeed, people often speak of the compensations one gets for the loss of a sense. So, it is important to focus on the areas in which all is still well.

As we age, we have a challenge in continuing to do as well as possible those things we have always been able to handle. We may not be as swift in our movements as before, but does that really matter? Younger people can be impetuous and, as in driving, go unnecessarily fast. But as we get older, in order to remain healthy in mind and body, we should calmly adjust to the speed to suits our mind and body (plus the rules of the road). It’s important to realize that we should never feel guilty by slowing down and doing things differently. I have a friend who ended up with a massive heart attack and diagnosed due to stress because she refused to slow down as she was approaching her 70s. Slowing down does not mean giving up- although many interpret it that way. Slowing down means being wise, to listen to one’s body and mind and don’t push ourselves to the point of exhaustion. God wants us to enjoy each day. God want us to smell the roses, as they say, and enjoy the sky, the flowers all there is to see and appreciate as we move through our day. If you had a beloved pet who became a part of family but has now grown old, you will notice that he slows to his own speed and you accept that with understanding and offer him comfort.
The old family pet drops some of his youthful tricks and finds himself a place in the sun and does not fret about his new situation. It doesn’t preoccupy or cause him to wonder what other pets will think of their changed routine. How wise!

Of course, we too need to find the appropriate ‘place in the sun’ for ourselves as we get older. A comfortable chair is a special gift to oneself. But a comfortable frame of mind is a ‘freebie’ that is even more rewarding.

However, It’s important to watch out for any sign of disinterest in people and exaggerated self-pity. Regrets about past actions need to be left behind with the realization that there is no changing them now. You had ups and downs. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Like your pet, find activities you are comfortable with. Some may still climb up the nearest mountain. Others prefer to sit on the bank of the stream with toes in the water. Choice, freedom and responsibility are blessings from God. Learn to practice contemplative prayer, go on retreats, be still and know that God is with you and IN you.

The golden years can be happy days of growth and creativity. It’s up to you!
Ruth 4:15 He will renew your life and sustain you in your old age.