Age creeps up on each of us, regardless of our views on the subject. We can work on staying or getting in shape, yet our bodies shift and change with the passing years. While our attitude is important, perhaps even critical, it will not stop the impact of time pressing onwards. Even those who are seriously fit know that something is changing. Recovery from strenuous exercise takes just a little bit longer. Bumps and bruises take just a little longer to heal. Reaction times slow and then get even slower. Things change.
Society has, because of the growing population that is past their prime become more accepting towards those who are older. “Youth may be admired for vigor, but gray hair gives prestige to old age.” (Proverbs 20.29) Energy and physical fitness can be and often is weighed against experience and maturity. I am not sure the views of those under the age of twenty-one has changed, but the reaction of those past has dramatically shifted. No longer will people accept that things need to slow down and grind to a halt. Physical exercise, working hard, playing even harder are all mantras of society today. But what should we make of it?
Gray hair comes from the same hair source we have always had less some key minerals. Some would say that age is like that, taking away the vigor of youth, but I think that the metaphor does not reflect what in fact is real potential.
We have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes, if we take it.
We have the ability to accept God’s offer of recreation, if we take it.
We have years, decades of evidence demonstrating God’s love, mercy, acceptance, unconditional response to whom we are, and unending grace, if we but open our eyes and soul to the facts.
Age may be the absence of much yet it also includes the presence of things key. God’s handiwork, the touch of friends, and the experience of dreaming for those younger and giving them the power to explore. Take it and run!