October 6, 2016

“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life,

for which the first was made. Our times are in his hand who saith,

'A whole I planned, youth shows but half; Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!”

(Robert Browning)

This is for you who are getting a little older! You know who you are, so just enjoy this look at gray hair and arthritis.

Nobody wants to grow old! We tax our ingenuity to find ways keep from growing old, knowing full well that we can’t change it. We are constantly bombarded with the cult of youth. We think we can buy springtime in the drugstore, and I’ll admit that every old barn needs a coat of paint periodically. But God pity the old body that has no better safeguard against the coming of old age than can be found in paint, powder, facelifts, collagen treatments, and a new wardrobe. One older lady said, “I have the body of a 21 year old.” To which someone quipped, “You’d better give it back you’re getting it all wrinkled.” The television commercials that are geared to Senior Citizens are about life insurance and incontinence supplies!

I’m 81 years old so I know about growing older. The orator’s tongue loses its eloquence. The writer’s pen loses its skill. One famous writer said, “My God, what a genius I was then.” The light of the brain dims some with age, so fill your mind with good things now, so you will have good memories later. Most miserable old people were miserable young people. Aging doesn’t turn a cheerful person into a grouch. To the contrary, research has shown that, as we age, we become more emotionally stable and content. One lady of my acquaintance got very angry in a meeting. She stormed out, mad! Her friend said, “Well, she went out the way she came in.” Miserable, angry people are not that just because of old age!

Evening time has a radiance all its own. If you have the LORD in your life, a song in your heart and a smile on your lips, it doesn’t matter how old you are you are still a beauty!

The longer I serve Him the sweeter He grows;

The more that I love Him more love He bestows.

Each day is like Heaven, my heart overflows.

The longer I serve Him the sweeter He grows.

(Bill Gaither)

Growing Old Gracefully

Lord, Thou knowest better than I myself

That I am growing older and will someday be old.

Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking

I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.

Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs.

Make me thoughtful but not moody; helpful but not bossy.

With my vast store of wisdom, it seems a pity not to use it all;

But Thou knowest, Lord, that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details;

Give me wings to get to the point.

Seal my lips on my aches and pains;

They are increasing,

and love of rehearsing them is becoming sweeter as the years go by.

I dare not ask for improved memory,  but for a growing humility

and a lessening cock-sureness

when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others.

Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet,

For a sour old person is one of the crowning works of the devil.

Give me the ability  to see good things in unexpected places

and talents in unexpected people; and give,

O Lord, the grace to tell them so. Amen.

–Author unknown–

And this final word from author John Godfrey Saxe

“I'm growing fonder of my staff;

I'm growing dimmer in my eyes;

I'm growing fainter in my laugh;

I'm growing deeper in my sighs;

I'm growing careless of my dress;

I'm growing frugal of my gold;

I'm growing wise;

I'm growing…yes…

I'm growing old.”

And yes, I am growing older too! Notice I never say, “I’m getting old!” I always say, “I’m getting older!” Even babies are doing that! –Pastor John

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