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.
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 ~