The Meaning of Aging

Oct 23 2015

Why, you may ask, do some persons age/mature with such patience and grace, with wholeness and peace; while others protest, resist, or simply resign? 

There’s no escaping the fact that aging brings losses, it seems that we are given things only to have them taken away.  Our once strong, healthy bodies will eventually let us down.  Our achievements, our reasons for pride, will fade and may even lose their former luster.  We will change, we will be different, and we may not like the process.  I don’t know too many people who can’t wait to be 95! 

We live in a culture that inadvertently holds many prejudices against aging.  It’s not that we don’t like older persons; on an individual level we may have deep respect and great admiration for a particular older person.  On a societal level however, we tend to fear aging, mistrust it, and think of aging as a “thief in the night.” 

 Our culture has yet to discover the growth, purpose, and meaning in aging.  We seem to carry around some strange, irrational notion that aging should be avoided, resisted, or pushed away … at all costs don’t let aging happen to you!  Because we suffer this age prejudice, we may do an unfortunate thing, we may unconsciously run from our own aging and in so doing deny ourselves the rich, living water that God offers us in maturation. 

I have faith that God designed aging for our greater good.  In some strange and certainly paradoxical way when we experience the losses that aging brings, something is miraculously added to us.  I believe that aging is a blooming, buzzing, wonderful time of renewal, growth, and personal development that rests on a foundation of ongoing faith formation. 

No stage of life is more important than another; each has its unique contribution to the overall personal and spiritual health and development of us all.  Yet, to capture the growth that is inherent in aging we must look at aging with new eyes, with the eyes of Christ, and see therein the truth, beauty, and goodness that await us.


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