January 29, 2009

Thoughts on Growing Old

I have spent the last 14 days in the company of retirees in the warm climates of Mexico, Arizona, and southern California. Today I hopped and stretched, jogged and danced, kick-boxed and dove, and generally enjoyed the water in the warm pools of Desert Hot Springs. I definitely don't "fit in" here - with the older babes that seem to move in slow motion, not disturbing the surface of the water (or mussing their hair-dos).

But then, I don't fit in with the high school swim team crowd that uses the pool back in Oregon either. They buzz around me in the shower room, texting and discussing important issues (like the "he likes me, he doesn't like me" debates). The old gals talk about their favorite doctor or restaurant. The young ones are concerned with homework.

An observation here: I think all women are concerned about their body shapes and hair arrangements. That sure seems to be universal - at any age!

Where do I fit?

The lingering thought I've been entertaining the last few days is that it is a demonstration of God's grace that we grow old and die.

How's that for a mind-blower!

It appears to me that in the Genesis account when God stations an angel to guard the tree that would give humanity eternal life - He is protecting our chance for eternal life!

Look around you. Would you actually like everything to be as it is now - forever? Would you like your health, your relationships, the government, the economy, your job, all these things to always be the same as they are now? Not me! I want the difficulties, the heartaches and the pain to die!

I'm so glad God put that angel there. I'm so glad that I will see "a new heaven and a new earth" - and a new me!

I'm listening to the aging ones around me voice their concerns. I want to learn wisdom from them, and I want to be an encouragement to them. I don't know the answers. I don't know how to die. I've never done it, but I know I need it.

Like Jesus said, if the seed doesn't die, it can't bring forth life and abundant fruit. I don't want to be short-sighted and only think about the moment of death, but I want to remember its purpose, real and purposeful and joyful LIFE!

Like I'm looking forward to seeing my family back home again, I'm also looking forward to seeing the ones I love that have gone before me.

I'm coming, family!