The Paradox of Strength as I Age

Jun 22 2018

I’ve attended more than several conferences on aging given by a medical doctor, a nurse or whomever, and I always come out feeling somewhat flummoxed because the “take away” was always the same – that as I aged my body gradually, but surely, loses strength. 

I know the research… muscle strength training can stem the tide of decline – but it cannot stop it.  Yes, I have incorporated the unequivocal fact that I do get physically weaker as I age. 

New Picture

Yet, I know that this dismal picture is very different in my spiritual domain- because I know that aging is a time when I move into spiritual high gear.  I now view my life experiences as a treasure-trove of times, people, relationships, etc.  upon which I can reflect now with uncommon clarity and extract bits of gold – wisdom heretofore blurred by standing too close.

Aging gives me a new perspective on myself, my work, my love, my family, my leisure, and certainly on my walk with God.  You may ask, what is this new lens I’ve discovered as I’ve aged?

New Strength

Aging is a process when and where I can find not only new vision, but new life; vitality, enrichment, and above all I can be the recipient of new strength – spiritual strength!

New Virtue

This new spiritual strength I gain is virtue.  Strange you say? Well, let me ask, “Where do the power, energy, and grace come from that is the carrier of deeper wisdom in my maturing years?”  The answer is simple – it comes from God.  Well, in what form might I see this wisdom power? Again, the answer is simple – virtue.

All virtue comes from a singular source – Love.  Virtue can then be defined as “love in action”.  Think of the virtues that build in strength in our maturing years:

  • Hope
  • Adaptability
  • Acceptance
  • Vision
  • Peace
  • Faith
  • Wisdom
  • Wholeness
  • Trust
  • Gratitude
  • Patience
  • Harmony
  • Truth
  • Inspiration
  • Courage
  • Perseverance

Aging – A Classroom of Virtue Strength

I sometimes reflect on the classroom of virtue that aging offers me.  Of course, I’m only given the opportunity of living deeper in virtue in my later life… I must do the work; I must pick up the shovel and dig out the gems of my past ( and present) to discover there the truth, beauty, and goodness buried there in… and as I do the work, as I spiritually toil, I do indeed grow stronger!

Wishing you God’s peace in mind and heart,

Richard P. Johnson, PhD

To better understand your own signature spiritual strengths and how they can paradoxically turn your process of aging into your spiritual powerhouse you might think of treating yourself to taking the SSP and perhaps even looking at Course 105 in the Johnson Institute curriculum.


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