By Marya Burns, Rehabilitation/Skilled Consultant, Good Samaritan Society
The aging process is an inevitable fact of life. One day, we’re in our 20s, getting married, and beginning to raise our families. The next day, we are facing retirement and babysitting grandchildren. We look in the mirror and see the eager energy of youth replaced by wrinkles and gray hair.
Aging can have its downside. Arthritis develops in joints that were once flexible and strong. Eyes that were sharp and clear now seem dull and hazy. Ears that heard the first words uttered by a child now strain to hear everyday conversation. The human body goes through profound physiological changes as it ages, and people may experience despair and sorrow at the loss of their youth.
Yet history shows, example after example, that some of the greatest contributions made to society have been made by older people. Michelangelo was still designing churches at age 88. Roget was updating his famous thesaurus when he died at age 90. Albert Schweitzer was operating his hospital in Lambaréné, French Equatorial Africa, at age 89. And at age 100, Grandma Moses was still painting.
Each one of these individuals had something in common: faith. They had faith that life means something and is to be used for good. Faith gives age its beauty by turning wrinkles into beautiful smiles. It can transform life’s experiences into the wisdom of lessons learned.
The Bible has much to say about aging:
Proverbs 16:31 – “Long life is the reward of the righteous; gray hair is a glorious crown.”
2 Corinthians 4:16 – “For this reason we never become discouraged. Even though our physical being is gradually decaying, yet our spiritual being is renewed day after day.”
Proverbs 19:27 – “My child, when you stop learning, you will soon neglect what you already know.”
So where’s the joy in growing old? It is in knowing that we can remain optimistic and hopeful in spite of the aging process. We have gifts that God gave us at birth that we developed and cherished in our youth. But we also have the gifts that God continues to give so that we can make meaningful contributions at any age. Keep praying, and have faith!
Good Samaritan Society – Services@Home provides cares such as housekeeping, medication reminders, meal preparation, grocery shopping, and assisting with other cares to assist people to remain independent at home. To learn more about Good Samaritan Society – Services@Home, please call 563-359-4444.
Photo Credit: funstock/Thinkstock