In just 4 days, I will be half a century in age! I don't feel nearly 50 years old (except after I have cleared 12 properties of snow, or spread 12 yards of mulch, or totalled myself on my total gym). Then I feel more like 80. But it seems impossible that I have lived 50 years! I think that most of us, at some age before 50 grow comfortable with who we are, and since that part of us never changes, we just feel the age we were when we came to that place of comfort. So I feel more like 35 than 50.
In that 50 years so much has happened--color t.v., man walking on the moon, the personal computer, digital technology, wireless/push button phones, answering machines, cell phones and the list goes on and on. Even on a personal level, so much has happened. Along with the normal milestones-driving license, college graduation, a career, marriage, children, etc., there have been the more difficult times of cancer, life changing injuries from a car accident, losing a parent, 4 miscarriages, and leaving the country life that I loved to be in ministry-something I thought I would never or could ever do.
I have found myself over the last few years really examining what I have accomplished in life that really matters and pushing myself more and more to make every day count. I'm trying to steer clear of the teasing, the old age birthday cards and comments, and the morbid black 50th birthday decorations.
Just yesterday, I recieved this "grace gem" in my inbox. They don't know I'm turning 50, but since I believe that nothing in my life is a coincidence, it greatly encouraged me and is my prayer for the years that I have left.
(J. R. Miller, "Devotional Hours with the Bible" 1908)
It takes a great deal of grace to grow old sweetly and beautifully. It is not possible to carry the alertness and energy of young manhood, into advanced years. Yet if we live wisely and rightly all our lives--old age ought to be the best of life. We certainly ought to make it beautiful and godly, for our life is not finished until we come to its very last day.
We ought to be wiser when we are old--than ever we have been in any former years. We ought to have learned by experience. We ought to be better in every way--with more of God's peace in our hearts, with more gentleness and patience. We ought to have learned self-control, and to be better able to rule our own spirit. We ought to have more love, more joy, more thoughtfulness, to be more considerate, to have more humility.
Old age never should be the dregs of the years, the mere cinder of a burnt-out life. One may not have the vigor and strenuousness of the mid-years--but one should be every way truer, richer-hearted, holier. If the outward man has grown weaker and feebler--the inner man should have grown stronger and Christlier.
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