MORTALITY “Growing Older with Grace”
Not much can be said about it. We are told that we are appointed a certain number of days upon the earth. We come here as babies.
We can shorten or add to this life by what we do to ourselves…in body and mind. Most of the time, we go through life thinking we have a long time to live and will think about those “morbid” things when we are very, very old. This is probably not reality and is just as good as a pillow over the head. Life will catch up with us and it will be fleeting. If you are young, think hard about how you want to spend your days. If you are middle aged, put the past behind you and press on to the good things that are before you. If you have already run the race, be ready to look into the face of God for He will be meeting you sooner than you think. His grace will be sufficient.
I am not old, but it was just this year when I first began to think about how short life really is, even if we live longer than life expectancy. My mother passed away this past year. She had a long life and was blessed with a good mental ability even if her heart and body had begun to fail. My husband and I began going to funerals for aunts and uncles.
The skin begins to wrinkle…especially if we have been a sun worshiper year after year.
Suddenly, one looks in the mirror and remembers what we used to look like. Now, there is a head of gray hair…and surprisingly, even our children in their 40’s are beginning to turn grey. Eyes need more care and for some hips and knees begin to ache. Doctor appointments become more frequent. How fortunate we are to have them.
Some people, as they grow older, seem to lose their dignity. They don’t care anymore! It doesn’t matter what I look like. It’s my life…and I’ll do with it anyway I want to…and look anyway I want to.
I have always thought how some can grow older gracefully and others just turn into old grouches. There must be a reason for that. I tend to believe that the first person mentioned has not given up on life because they tend to believe that there is more life still to live and even after life…there is more.
The last person may be one who dwells on the negative. Things may be happening too fast. The body aches and there is a sadness to think that it all may be coming to an end. Sometimes there is an over-whelming loneliness and a wishing that things could be as they used to be. Unfortunately…or fortunately…they never will be. Children grow up and have their own lives. Careers are finished and there is a need to fill time and days with something else. Hopefully, it can be with things that are creative and exciting. More than likely, it will be thinking how nice it is to sit down with a hot cup of something; look out the window at the bird building a nest and watch a cloud floating effortless by. There can be contentment in growing older if we can calm down enough to enjoy it.
This week I went to an assisted living facility in Sarasota, Florida. A lady, who was 94, was sitting outside watching the rain. She thought it was beautiful…and she was right. Some of us have forgotten how to look for beauty in the small things. As we talked, she told me her husband had already passed away and she missed him. She said, “I would just like to go to sleep and see him where he is.” I think what she said is what most of us think….if we have given mortality any thought at all. We hope for a quick, smooth, comfortable death and a hand to hold when the time comes…..and the time will come. It is not morbid to consider something that is part of reality.
As I watched a sunset the other evening, I thought about how much we do not know. Our universe is unending. There is so much out there. We have only had glimpses of it through our powerful telescopes and satellites. Somewhere every soul that has ever finished this life is out there….whereever out there is. Christ said, ” I go to prepare a place for you…if it were not so, I would have told you.” How glorious to think we may know the secrets of the universe when all is revealed to us….on the other side of this life.
It really does not matter who we are. We can be someone whom only a few know…or we can be a famous Queen or a King. We can be young or old; rich or poor, but when the time comes….and it will come…each one of us will be changed from what we are now to what we will be. Only God knows.
For some, the changes come silently and slowly as we grow older…but it does come. We drastically change…slowly …oh, so very slowly. I thought this might be a good time to share with you someone who has had a long life and recently had a great celebration. She has been faithful to her job and aged with dignity. Beautiful as a young child…and as a young bride….and as the calendar moves from year to year..she too has grown older with grace. Enjoy the changes for they will come.
VIDEO. (Turn on sound)