Aging Gracefully

Birthday Confetti Email SalutationEvery year as my birthday nears, I struggle with aging. Actually, I continually battle the thought of aging but fixate on it more when I must actually add to the number that captures the reality.

Yeah, I know the “age is just a number” sayings, but I don’t buy them. To me, that constantly-increasing number reminds me of my mortality, and I find I must deliberately confront my thoughts in this area in order to not find myself consumed by what sometimes feels like futility.

Maybe I love this world too much. Maybe I’m too attached to the desires of my flesh. Or maybe I simply struggle with the wasted time of my past, now lost forever. Regardless, I know I need to, as my pastor said recently, live forward instead of backwards, and for me this means confronting these thoughts that could paralyze me if I let them.

tent

While I struggle with aging, I’m also acutely aware that the number placed on my age only involves my current dwelling or “tent” as Paul calls it (2 Corinthians 5:1-10). I know that the real me, my spirit, renews daily (2 Corinthians 4:16)… it doesn’t age. I hold dearly to my future promised with Christ in Heaven, and I know I must “not think only about things down here” but must “also set [my] sights on the realities of heaven” (Colossians 3:1-2).

At the same time, I can’t deny my desire to extend this tent-dwelling life as much as possible, to live a long, good life on this earth. I simply cannot escape the deep sense that this mortal life truly matters even amidst its fleetingness.

Since this life does matter, I want to age gracefully. I want to live fully in a way that pleases my Creator because I don’t believe He would give me this life if it didn’t matter much, if He didn’t have a specific purpose for both now and into eternity.

Do you have a similar struggle with aging and/or a desire to age gracefully?

In my goal to age gracefully, the focus topic for August on Struggle to Victory, I’m looking to what Scripture says to help me live in victory even within the struggle. In that, I will explore what the Bible teaches about living a long, good life (which is actually quite a lot), attempt to understand the truth that “physical training is of some value” (1 Timothy 4:8) and look at what it takes to finish well.

DISCUSSION: What are your thoughts on aging gracefully?

20 thoughts on “Aging Gracefully

  1. Each day as I look in the mirror I am reminded I am aging.. Each ride on the bike reminds me I am aging. Each physical effort beyond eating and sleeping reminds me I am aging. I can choose to wallow in that or I can choose to do as you say "age gracefully." I have said this before and will continue saying it: I want to go out living life to the hilt. I don't want to lay down and die (unless that is the kind of death God has planned for me). I still don't like again. I occasionally wonder what it would be like to be younger again. But I also know that whatever time I have left, I want to move forward.
    My recent post Creature

  2. Well adopted daughter…at my age I am well past dwelling on this. Of course, I do understand and believe as long as God wants me in this present world I should do my best to honor him with my best. Just as Jesus grew spiritually, mentally and physically, we too should balance our lives until the Spirit draws our last breath from our present body. When I look at my sons and their children, I see life beyond the grave in the legacy I leave behind. But, also I get up everyday looking to add one more indelible footprint and plenty of finger prints upon this life we have been gifted to live in the present. Psalm 90:12…Teach us to "make an accounting" (number) of our days. To that, how many of our days are inked on the ledger of life on the asset column and how many are found on the debt side – will we have black or red ink on the bottom line when God goes over our life with us?

    Smile, birthdays are just a reminder of the cycle of life! Happy!!! Birthday. 🙂

    • Thank you for the encouragement, \”dad.\” love the verse you brought out. Very helpful. I plan to spend some with it in the next few days. Thank you for brining out Jesus\’s example of balance in this too. Another area to study. Appreciate the & advice & more is always encouraged & welcome.

  3. Great post here Kari. I will be 39 this month – crazy, where did the time go? But I like what your pastor said: we need to move forward not backward. I read in Phil. 3 today how we are to strain toward what is ahead and not look back. When we get to Heaven we'll realize (I believe) that this world was a preparation for our ultimate Destination.
    My recent post What We Can Learn From The Legend Of Zelda

  4. Kari, I deal with the same struggle. I had a hard time with turning 30, and here I am about to be 34 in a couple of months. There are so many adventures left to be experienced, so many places to explore, so much time to spend with friends, so much more writing to accomplish – all of which I haven't made enough time for in my life at times. I'm looking forward to Heaven, but there is so much more to do here first!
    My recent post How to Lead in a Passive Culture, Part 2

    • For sure, Chris. If I dwell too much on this, I get depressed thinking of all the time I've wasted. The advice to live forward and not backwards really helps me. Also, knowing that my best years really can be the ones that lie ahead helps tremendously too. More and more, I'm finding the need to be around people who offer regular encouragement not just in the struggles of life but in living in adventure too.

  5. Kari, all I can say is Happy Birthday. May the Good Lord prepare you on earth for a wonderful BIRTH day in heaven. I used to worry about aging. Now I just enjoy life ONE DAY AT A TIME. A recent blog, sorry I don't remember whose talked about THIS DAY and THAT DAY.. This day is the moment we are in right now, that day is the day we see Christ face to face. It was a well written blog and I apologize for not being able to name the writer. So I am enjoying THIS day for all it is worth and looking forward to THAT day when I will see my Savior face to face. Hope that encourages your heart.

  6. Kari,
    It appears to me that you are aging most gracefully. In the sense of your total awareness about this life and the one to come. I think we in your community observe you aging with grace and wisdom
    Happy Birthday

  7. So often I think life would really be better on heaven than earth anyway and I think that makes me not mind aging so much. Although, I have to tell you, Kari, your body does start to fall apart at some point and that's no fun! I think it's about 50 so you still have quite a few years to go. 🙂 I'm already there. 🙂 I do like the the spiritual maturity that comes with old age though.
    My recent post 06 How to Break a Habit

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