This year, my husband and I celebrated 40 years of marriage. Obviously, we’re a little past our prime by now, and sometimes we complain about the hardships of growing old. Aging is not for the faint of heart, it’s true. But sometimes I look at my husband in wonder and gratitude, and I think, “Wasn’t growing old together the goal? We did it! We should celebrate and enjoy this time.
When we were young, we pictured growing old together one day. I guess I pictured sitting together in rocking chairs on a front porch with grandchildren running around—maybe one in my lap. We don’t have a front porch or much time to sit and contemplate yet, but we do have 10 non-stop grandkids that we’re crazy about.
Don’t Worry About Growing Old
As I contemplate the next thirty years, sometimes I get a little worried. Will my husband’s cancer come back or will I get diabetes and Parkinson’s like my mom? Then I could also worry about the world falling apart, getting Covid or nuclear war or any number of scenarios my fertile imagination can invent. But Jesus said this in Matthew 6:27:
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Worrying does no good at all. In fact, worry adds stress, and stress will shorten our lives. Let’s stop that.
Do What You Know to Do
What are some ways to add happy hours to our lives? If we’d stop worrying about what we don’t know and focus on doing what we do know, we would be better off. It’s true of the Bible and of life. We know God wants us to love our neighbors. Let’s get busy loving people and stop using the scripture to condemn others.
The same is true of our health. We know exercise and healthy eating is good for us. We can start there to improve our health dramatically. I am currently reading “Keep Sharp” by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. If you want specific guidelines on how to keep your brain sharp, how much to exercise and how to eat, his book is a great resource. Dr. Gupta also emphasizes the power of relationships to keep us healthy longterm.
Cultivate Your Relationships
Whether it’s your marriage relationship or other friendships, spending time connecting with people is great for your health, spiritually and physically. If you’re not seeing friends enough, invite someone to coffee or dinner. Rekindle old acquaintances and don’t let current friends drift away. As we age, this will keep us vibrant. Following God is all about relationships. Try to always have mentors as well as younger friends you can help along the way. These may need to be online relationships at times, but stay connected.
“When I’m 64”
I think of the old song by the Beatles, “When I’m 64.” We’re not quite there yet, but let’s just say 64 doesn’t sound so old anymore. Rich Mullins wrote another great song I used to hear at weddings. It’s called “Doubly Good.” In this song, Rich lists blessing after blessing God gives daily, such as the rising of the sun and the moon, along with the rewards of hard work. Then he says that if you’ve found true and lasting love, God’s been “doubly good” to you.
So these days I’m staring at my husband with his distinguished gray hair and the same intense blue eyes from high school, and I’m thinking, Wow! We did it! We grew old together, and God’s been doubly good to me.
May God bless you with long-lasting, healthy relationships, and may God comfort all of us who are missing someone.
Any suggestions on how to stay healthy and happy as we age? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
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