Rich in Years by Johann Christoph Arnold is a short book about finding peace and purpose in a long life.
This is a highly readable, inspiring, and authentically written volume that contains a symphony of voices of both women and men who talk about aging and the challenges and blessings that come with it.
Arnold is a pastor of the Bruderhof Community, and he is an excellent writer.
I live in a city that is surrounded by elderly people. My parents are still alive. And I understand the challenges of this stage of life. Not from first-hand experience, but from second-hand.
This book is excellent for anyone in their 60s, 70s, or 80s. It’s a first-hand look at the struggles of old age. But it’s very inspiring because it shows that a person can serve God and be useful to Him no matter what their age.
Our society has lost its perspective on growing old. Seniors are often neglected. The suicide rate of elderly people is extremely high.
Many seniors live in regret. But it doesn’t have to be so.
Rich in Years offers hope and motivation to those who are experiencing old age.
It offers peace instead of rage, hope instead of regret, joy instead of depression.
Loneliness is a particular challenge that’s addressed in the book. All people, including seniors, long to live in community, to share whatever we have with others.
God created us as communal beings, not as hermits. Arnold puts forth many of the other questions that older people ask is. But the chief one is: how can God use my last days for His purpose?
Perhaps God can use us best in old age because we can give more rather than receive.
The book is full of Scripture quotes. One of my favorite is in Job. “Is not wisdom found among the aged, does not long life bring understanding?” Many other quotes are from the Gospels and various philosophers.
This is a great book for those who are seeking inspiration and purpose in the later years of life. And it makes a great gift for such individuals.