American General Douglas MacArthur kept a poem in his office entitled “How to Stay Young.” It was written by Samuel Ullman and its words are timeless. Here is an excerpt:
“Youth is not a time of life—it is a state of mind; it is a temper of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions, a predominance of courage over timidity…Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years; people grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, doubt, self-distrust, fear and despair—these are long, long years that bow the head and turn the growing spirit back to dust.
“Whether 70 or 16, there is in every being’s heart the unfailing childlike appetite for…the joy of the game of life. You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear; as young as your hope; as old as your despair. So long as your heart receives messages of beauty, cheer, courage, grandeur and power from the earth, from man and from the Infinite, so long are you young.”
Be careful then how you live. (Ephesians 5:15)
Regardless of my age, Lord, make my outlook youthful.