Turning seventy is a number that gets your attention. I remember turning fifty and thought back then, oh boy! Twenty years later you see your children turning nearly fifty and then it hits you, ‘boy you are ooolllldddd.’ When your children become grandparents you stop denying age, it smacks you in the face and says, ‘I’m here, get over it!’
I have friends who are in their eighties and my mom is in her nineties so I am literally still a kid, just an old kid. Getting old is something that is unavoidable if you keep on waking up. Trust me you won’t like the alternative. At this stage I have lost so many friends and family so death is more of a reality than it once was. How does that make you feel when the finality of life is just around the corner? Does it bring in the conversation about getting yourself right with your Maker?
For those of you who are still young your day will come one day, if you’re lucky. For me the process of aging actually sneaked upon me like a thief in the night because my mind was not too quick to acknowledge the change. However the mind and certainly body members will get your attention that something strange is happening. For some it is like falling off a steep cliff and for others it is like sliding down a gentle slope. When you try to bend over to pick up something the body says, really! When you walk in the kitchen and think, why did I come in here? When you have problems remembering what you did yesterday or recalling names and numbers that were so familiar to you, that is when you say, I’m here…and so is Author…whose last name is Ritis. In case you don’t know this persona we elders know him as arthritis.
Aging itself is not all that bad, especially if you took care the body and mind over the years. A decent diet and exercise program would be helpful if you started at an age when it became a way of life. After you hit a certain age the habits that you established, both good and bad don’t tend to change very drastically. In other words the earlier you start being good the better chance you have of establishing good habits that will most certainly assist during the aging process.
I am even told that there are mental exercises that help keep the mind sharper. Reading is one such exercise that keeps the mind sharp. Crossword puzzles and other games that force you to think are mental calisthenics. Again, it would be better if you start such things while you are younger but it is never too late to make positive changes, they just might not be as effective as before.
One thing I find most beneficial about aging is the development of wisdom. After knocking your head against the same brick wall for so long you finally learn that it would be best not to keep on doing the same things that causes you to knock your head against the same brick wall. You actually learn from your many mistakes where you can avoid certain things that gave you problems in the past. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out. You learn to be mellow, take it slow and smell the roses from time to time. This is not because you are smarter, but because the mind and body slows down. Wisdom is when you can finally settle down and take life as it is and do the best you can.
Without sounding overly pessimistic there are some benefits of aging I just can’t remember what they are…just kidding. But if you are no longer working and have tons of time on your hand it is a great time to give back to your community. It is a good time to share your hard-earned wisdom with those younger and less experienced. And it is a great time to give God quality time establishing a real and personal relationship. Now that you no longer need to worry about career, job, raising a family and the cares of life if you find yourself with lots of time on your hand. Some of this time could used to turn to God and get your affairs in order. If you turn to Him He will turn to you. Even if you get your religion through a formal worshipping house one day a week, you have six more days where you can meditate on scripture, walk in nature or just spend quiet time opening the window of opportunity for God to come into your heart.
Establishing a personal relationship at any level requires time and dedication that you usually do not prioritize when you are young. With that phase of life behind you why not give God dedicated time and space. No reflection against your formal worship but there is nothing like pulling away from the burdens of the world so you can actually began to sense the presence of God’s indwelling Spirit in a personal way.
Fortunately I started this process in earnest about 20 years ago when I began to sense male menopause. Many do not realize that men go through a change of life, which is different from the menopause that females suffer. However both females and males suffer biologically as part of the aging process. Perhaps being near the end of a long journey makes one wonder about the meaning of life and if you did what you could or should have done with your life. Even if you do not know God, He knows you because it was by His hands that you have life. Since you have free time why not give God a chance to explain a few things to you.
So many people choose not to believe in God for whatever reason and they are free to do so. But as one who is subject to the parameters of life that was set up by the Creator from the very beginning, we are not in charge. The earth and life itself will come to an end but God will not. God is in charge and all will be subject to his final judgments. Death may be final but eternal life has no end. You do not have to believe but you will have to face judgment for your choices. Every knee will eventually have to bow and face God. Romans 14:11 - Let those who have ears, hear this quiet whisper.