Living a Long Life

Is Age Really Just a Number?3-28-13 long life 1

This topic idea has been festering for a while. I say festering because I hate aging. Hate seems like a strong word, but I really struggle with the idea that I am aging and can do nothing ultimately to stop it. My last birthday may have amplified this struggle just a bit too.

Festering because I wondered if I can legitimately address this issue having lived just 40 years (gee, I hate admitting that), hopefully not even half my earthly life yet. I get told over and over again how young I am, but I’ve notice that the people saying this are, well, older than me.

The amount of days I truly feel young lessens with every passing year. I hear that age is a state of mind, but that just concerns me more since what my mind says about my age and what my body says are very different.

Because of my struggle with aging, the question of “How can I live a long life?” comes up from time to time.

How to Live a Long Life

I read a lot of books and magazines, and many of them at least touch on the topic of extending your life and looking and feeling younger. They include topics ranging from exercise and diet to managing stress and staying connected.

The Bible is also a part of my regular reading, and it also has a lot to say about living a long life. But not only does it just get at the physical side of life, it also gets how our character impacts the length of our days.

Consider the following Biblical instruction on how to live a long life.

  1. Fear God. (Proverbs 10:27)
  2. Get wisdom. (Proverbs 9:11)
  3. Obey God. (Deuteronomy 5:33)
  4. Honor your parents. (Ephesians 6:2-3)
  5. Avoid wickedness. (Ecclesiastes 7:17 & Psalm 55:23)
  6. Pursue God. (Psalm 91:9-16)

As I consider this instruction, I am acutely aware that it doesn’t always work. I mean, someone can follow this advice and still not live a long life in earthly terms. And I realize this is because God’s will doesn’t always happen on earth as it does in Heaven (think abortions and murder as extreme examples).

So, doing what the Bible says we need to do to live a long life does not guarantee increased years on this earth.

Yet, I know that my gift of a long life extends beyond the physical and into the eternal. Psalm 91:16 says that along with salvation comes the gift of a long life. It’s that gift that motivates me to live as long as a life this side of heaven as possible, living out His will on earth as it is done in Heaven.

3-28-13 long life 2Not Getting Any Older!

Even as I struggle with the aging of my body and still seek to live out God’s will on this earth, I find great comfort in knowing that what I see is not really reality.

Yes, my body is getting older, dying actually. That’s true for all of us. But the part of me that will live forever gets renewed every day. So, in a very real way, more real than the aging process I see in the mirror and feel in my joints, I AM NOT GETTING OLDER.

I find tremendous comfort in knowing that while my physical body ages and I can’t do anything about it, God renews my spirit daily (2 Corinthians 4: 16). And that spirit is what will live with Him in eternity.

As if that weren’t enough, I also will one day get a NEW BODY that won’t decay (1 Corinthians 15:53). Even though I can’t put my order in on exactly what age I want to be in that new body (29 would be nice), knowing I am getting a body that God intends to live for eternity is very exciting to me.

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27 thoughts on “Living a Long Life

  1. 40? You are just a young pup. Try 60. Things I used to do cause a bit more discomfort now and take a little longer to do (like cycling and climbing hills). But I relish the fact that God has blessed me with another day to live. As for your thoughts: I have no idea how much longer I have on this earth (as does no one), but I am determined to live each day to its fullest. I want to enjoy life. but I don't ever want to forget that something better is waiting for me, so while I will enjoy this life, I will also hold on loosely and look to the sky.

    • Focusing on living His will now but keeping an eye on eternity is wise. He is teaching me to relish my days more, but I still have a lot to learn. I constantly tell myself that \”the best is yet to come.\”

  2. I feel the same pain about getting older. It seems like just yesterday I was turning 30 and now I'm heading towards 33 in a few months. The way I've looked at it is to harness that energy in a Psalm 90 way – to remember that my days are numbered. The trick, for me, is to forgive yourself for a wasted past while pledging to soar ahead in God's power for the future.

    • Psalm 90 gives a great focus for aging. As we are discussing at The Inspired Day, forgiveness and reconcilliation are everything. That’s truly how to live a full life with a focus on eternity.

  3. Kari,
    No matter the days or the years we can live our moments with more intention. That we are deliberate in making the most of today. That we live more and longer in a day due to being proactive with the time we have. To not let waste or slip by.
    We can also live longer in the sense of pouring our lives into others and part of us lives with them. Also we want to be doing things that last longer than us. Things such as investing in other people and things that bless others.
    We should leverage our time with God's help as we make daily and weekly choices.

    • Great advice, Mark. Live intentionally. Be deliberate. Be proactive. Pour into others. Investing in others. Blessing others. Leverage our time. Great advice for sure!

  4. Kari- you are right. This post is a great connection to mine. We like to pretend that we are not getting older, or that we will not someday die. But the truth is, we will. It is inevitable. An eternal mindset helps bring perspective to that, for sure.

    • I love these types of connections because I feel like they are God's confirmation on my thinking on a topic. I still might pretend I'm not getting older, though. I mean, knowing that my spirit is renewed daily and that I get a new body in heaven is enough to convince me I'm not aging. Seriously, I am excited about eternity when I think about this stuff.

  5. Great thoughts on a subject that speaks to many. My husband and SIL look so young because of their active lifestyle that I believe I can keep looking and feeling young too, God willing. I repeat "to live is Christ; to die is gain."

  6. When I was younger I thought it would be cool to live to see 100 but the older I get the less I'm sure that's a good idea. My attitude is that every birthday puts me one year closer to heaven so bring on the the birthdays and bring on heaven, I'm ready!

  7. Psalm 90:12, Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts. Our life – no matter where stand on its time line – is important and valuable to God. The fact remains that older we get the wiser we become about "our time" and we do ponder about the what ifs of God allowing us some do-overs in our life. We can look back and see how we wasted "our time" in frivolous pursuits as if chasing the wind as Solomon points out in Ecclesiastes. We can talk about eternity but who has experienced it and then been able to counsel us about it but God? Enjoy each day…the past has a purpose but it is in the past…the future is in God's hands, so don't get too hung up pondering about it…seek God and His Righteousness each new day as a gift, whether we are just beginning the journey of life with the mistakes we will make ahead of us, or whether we are somewhere in the middle of the journey, or nearing the final leg. We must cherish the present alone and enjoy God's gift of life daily. Age is but a reminder of our current temporal state…the older we get the more philosophical we get about it!

    • I love the philosophical, Coach. I also so appreciate your comment about living for and enjoying today. Don\’t dwell on the past or worry about the future. Enjou God\’s gift of today. Good word!

  8. Oh my, at over 62 I laugh when I remember 40. And when I think of all God has done for and with and through me in those years, all He has brought me through, oh, all I can do is praise the name of Jesus.That seems so long ago!
    I agree with many of the responses about living today with gratitude and being open to be used by God. When I think of spending eternity with Him in a body that does not ache, have wrinkles, bad ears or eyes I smile. That will be a glorious day, but until then I know He will give me grace sufficient for doing what He has planned for me in this life. Same for you Kari. Enjoy each moment. Give thanks. Do not fret about what you cannot change. God is after all in control.

    • And I am SO glad He is in control & not me. Am certainly learning to enjoy each day and the moments in those days. Need His Holy Spirt to help me do that. Thanks for the encouragement, Mary.

      • We are so blessed that the One who created the world, sunrise and sunset and all in between; whose eye is on the sparrow is watching over us with unconditional love. It was His love the was demonstrated by the death of Jesus on the cruel cross, and His love that brought Jesus back to life, defeating death. I stand amazed at it all. There are often times I wonder why would he love me, and yet I know it is true. And indeed His Spirit is alive and moving in me, you, and all this great world. May the joy of the resurrected Lord be yours today and always.

  9. Our body might be aging however we can sharpen our mind and take care of our body so we can live a long life. I also don't like the idea of aging but know it's a part of life. I want to do everything I can today so I can live a long and healthy life.

    Great thoughts and passages

  10. Wow – again, we are so much alike! I hate aging. I hate looking in the mirror and seeing one more wrinkle or crease. I don't like the age spots on my skin, or the way that my skin does not look the way it used to. Now, while some of this might be some vanity – – it really isn't for the most part. It (the outward signs) are reminders that it is happening. I don't want to age – I cannot believe that I am 45 years old. I don't feel that way. My life is certainly not where I had hoped to be at age 45. I am working on as much of the outward signs as I can and working on the insides and fitness as well. I agree that we have to be good stewards of our bodies.
    I do concentrate on how blessed and lucky that I am, but I am human after all – like we all are – and I have to say that of late, this is my greatest "worry" – when I think about it (or look in the mirror) LOL

    • Interesting that we all see aging in different ways. You focused in on the wrinkles and age spots, I focus in on how my body just doesn't do what I want it to do anymore. All indicates of a similar challenge/struggle. Working on the inward truly is the best place to focus. After all, it's the spirit that goes on forever and is constantly renewed. We'll get new bodies one day anyway. Focusing on being thankful is huge too. I need to do a better job at that. Maybe we can keep each other accountable?!

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