Growing older does not mean one stops growing...
…in all the dimensions of their life. There is a “sad myth” hanging around those in their Third3rd of life that you grow older, you accomplish a few good moments in your life, your kids, should you have them, are boosted into their own lives, grandkids may show up, and now you retire.
Too often, as in way too often, in our western culture, to retire has been a subtle (…or not so subtle…) waiting to die some day. Enjoy whatever accomplishments may have come your way. Travel a bit, if you are able physically and financially. The end is coming soon.
I’m giving myself permission here to use a way olde-fashioned term of strong disagreement: hogwash!!! 😉
In the spring of 2017 my wife and I will be celebrating 50 years of marriage. In early summer, in June, I will be arriving at 75 years of age, with Judy close behind in October turning 73. Not knowing when either you or we will slip through that “thin veil” we call dying, we are choosing to be as alive as reasonable and possible until we breathe no more.
Yes, health and financial and relational issues can complicate how one lives out their days, years, decades. I can easily remember Judy’s precious mother, who lived to 103, wondering out loud when she would next see Roy, her husband, Judy’s father, who had died years before. Her sweet spirit, inspite of some declining health, right to the end of her days, is a model for us to follow. Her confidence was sure that heaven waited for that reunion.
So how do you,
do we, do those you and I know,
choose to thrive well into the Third3rd of life?
Being alive, in the first place, is a gift from the Creator. There will be births in the future, as well as deaths. This is the “hard facts” circle of life. However, once one has matured into adulthood, how life is lived is sincerely up to each person, no matter their age.
Considering the 8 Dimensions of our Whole Person Mentoring Model, in every decade, I challenge, with intentional, focused care, women and men to choose how they will then live. My wife and I focus on this daily. Life only passes us by if we let it. The daily question for both you and me, no matter our age, is:
will I choose
to live out this day I’ve been given?
Judy and I know that circumstances may prevent us from living out all we hope and dare to still dream about. OK. Therefore, in what ways, for each dimension of life, will we choose to be as fully alive as possible for this day? Then tomorrow? Next week? A year from now? Even a decade from now?
is our first choice
no matter what may be going on in our life,
no matter our age or circumstance.
Granted, getting older, not being as strong as one once was, forgetting more than we want to forget, a new ache shows up…this can be discouraging, if we let it. Diminishment is not what we have been alive for.
…until you breathe no more…
you are not done yet!!!
In the ancient Hebrew texts we call the Old Testament, in the Bible, in Deuteronomy (chapter 30…from the Message), those older souls back then, who had been wandering around for 40+ years by then, were challenged with words which we need to allow ourselves to be challenged by this very day…no matter our age or circumstances:
so that you and your children will live.
And love God, your God, listening obediently to him,
firmly embracing him.
Jesus, for those who choose to follow him, even chimed in a few centuries later with his nurturing encouragement that he, too, wanted you to be fully alive. Recorded in John’s gospel (10:10) we find these words, that are true for any and all of us:
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
Ill health, reduced income, friends dying before you, family problems, plumbing not working well…yours personally, and that in your house or apartment…that can have one wondering what then is “life…to the full.” I believe that to the full means to your best, fullest capacity as age advances and the “stuff” of life happens to and around you, what will you choose for your attitudes to be?
Mind set will determine heart set which will determine just how well you live out your days…at any age. Please remind me to practice what I “preach” if you experience anything less from me between now and 95yo, which is at least how old I hope to get be.