Age Has a Way

The Aging Process

I never thought I would live to be this old.
Billy Graham – Nearing Home

I was thumbing through a brand new book by the celebrated Evangelist Billy Graham just the other night.  I remember Graham from the time I was a little boy and watching him on television.  Charismatic and a powerful speaker he’s lived an amazing life and has preached to more people than any other in history, an estimated audience of more than 2.2 billion!  Early in his career he was offered a lucrative network television contract that would have made him a millionaire several times over, but turned it down to continue his ministry.  Billy Graham is hugely popular and ranked 7th on Gallup’s list of most admired people for the 20th century.

Graham celebrated his 93rd birthday yesterday and his latest book Nearing Home shares his personal experience of growing old and teaches valuable lessons on how to view our time here on Earth.  It got me to thinking….  What follows are some of my random thoughts on the subject.

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If we’re lucky enough aging is a cold, hard fact of life.  We grow old.

Age has a way of changing people.  Often for the good, sometimes for the bad and occasionally it’s a mixed bag.  Throughout the process someone once said comes a mixture of good days and bad, victory and defeat, give and take.

Age has a way of surprising us.  One thing aging does is to bring us ever more closer to the realization of how swiftly time passes us by and how short life really is.

Age has a way of lining and wrinkling our faces and adding weight where it once never was. Gravity works against us and aches and pains are frequent companions.

Age has a way of making us wiser.  Hopefully we learn as we grow older.   Hopefully we apply what we learn to our lives, making us — and the end-result — better than what we used to be.

Age has a way of helping us appreciate the things we once never noticed.  Whether the rising sun on a clear morning, a mountain peak in the distance, the smile and innocence on the face of a child or a million-and-one other things.  And, as we age — frequently becoming more like them — our hearts will often turn to our parents.  I know it sounds corny to some, but it really does… age just works that way.

Age has a way of showing us how to appreciate the simpler things in life.  He who dies with the most toys — contrary to popular opinion — does not win.

Age has a way of getting us down, but only if we allow it to.  One must wait until the evening to see how splendid the day has been.

Age has a way of helping us to understand that what we once perceived as random choices can have far-reaching effects on our lives.  Life is a series of them and age tells us so.

Age has a way of bringing us ever closer to understanding the meaning and purpose of life.  The problem is, we soon realize we won’t understand it fully until shortly thereafter.

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that counts…
It’s the life in your years.

~ Abraham Lincoln ~

Related Posts:

Growing Old is Inevitable

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10 comments on “Age Has a Way

  1. When I venture out and often come across folks I know, the normal question is “How’re ya doin’?” My response varies a little -often it is this though -“As long as I’m above ground, able to walk and talk, I guess I’m doin’ okay!” And for the most part, that’s my theory about aging because yes, it does create a lot of strange little side issues -sagging parts is probably the least of my worries -or it should be anyway.

    Mentally, the acuity is sometimes lacking a good bit but I do think my attitude towards a lot of things has changed over the years and made me a lot more mellow -most of the time anyway. Some days though I am a total curmudgeon so will try to ignore that aspect here. But it does beat the alternative no matter how you cut it and regardless of whether you are an atheist or strongly religious too!

    My grandkids give me the hope and easily at least 90 percent of the joy I find in life when I don’t feel quite like being a really active participant in various things that I used to really love doing. Just seeing, just being around those kids -gives me the desire to return for yet another day of whatever life has in store for me these days!

  2. Amy Sundberg says:

    I love that Lincoln quote so much!

    Thanks for sharing your insights. It seems as though, like most things in life, aging contains its share of both the good and the bad. It’s nice to think about the good parts for a change!

  3. I do mind getting older from the standpoint my mind has never felt smarter or more likely to make good, solid decisions, but my body has never felt more in decline or more likely to present problems…some already chronic in nature. One of the ironic aspects of aging. I don’t have the advantage of exercising around my physical issues so I exercise my mind to offset them and keep a positive attitude. So far, so good…but I’m not thrilled about the physical aspects of aging one bit.

  4. Lew Hartswick says:

    Hey! It’s bad enough without being reminded of it. 🙂
    …lew…

  5. LeRoy William Bloom says:

    I don’t mind growing older. In fact I relish it. For me, being an atheist, the alternative to aging sucks. Sure, there are aches and pains, and the knowledge that I no longer have the strength and agility I once enjoyed make me wistful, but if I have my choice I’ll just keep on growing older.

    I have no sympathy for those in my age group who sit around and whine about getting old. My advice is get up out of the chair, quit watching game shows, and find some pastimes that contribute to making you smarter, keep you in better physical condition, and will allow you to quit thinking about the problems associated with aging. As my license plate holder states,”Old age is not for sissies”. So if you are one of those sissies, get over yourself, get up off your butt and do something good for yourself.

    I’ll be seventy one soon and I can’t wait until I get to be eighty one.

    • Rick Gleason says:

      Thank you LeRoy for the great comment.

      I wouldn’t be in any hurry though to see 81. Let it happen, but let it take time enough to really enjoy all those years between. Billy Graham would definitely agree with your advice.

      Here’s to 91… and beyond!

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