Getting Old

I read several devotionals today that struck a chord – God knows the things that occupy my mind and responds to them.

One was by Albert Schweitzer – about how troubled he was by animal abuse and neglect, so he wrote this prayer:

“Oh heavenly Father, protect and bless all things that have breath; guard them from all evil, and let them sleep in peace.”

Albert Schweitzer
Reverence for Life

“A good man is concerned for the welfare of his animals.” Proverbs 12:10

Another thing that concerns me regularly is something that I used to be able to ignore. I can no longer escape the fact that all of us grow old, and life on earth is temporary.

I think that realization hit me squarely in the face when Mike died at only 24 years of age. It doesn’t matter how old I am – my life could be over on any given day or moment. Still, we know that the average lifespan is “three score years and ten”…70 years or so. If, “by reason of strength”, I live to be 80, that leaves me 23 more years.
23 years seemed like a long time when I was 23.

I worry because my grandmother had “hardening of the arteries.” Today we call it Alzheimer’s or dementia. I don’t want that to happen to me. Both of my parents had cancer. I don’t want that to happen to me. If I had my druthers, I’d go to sleep one night and dream that Michael came and stood next to me. He’d smile, invite me to walk into that one-armed hug of his, and say, “Don’t be afraid, Mom.” Then I’d wake up and find that it wasn’t a dream at all, and there really is nothing to fear.

C.S. Lewis wrote:
“I am progressing along the path of life in my ordinary contentedly fallen and godless condition, absorbed in a merry meeting with my friends for the morrow or a bit of work that tickles my vanity, a holiday or a new book, when suddenly a stab of abdominal pain that threatens serious disease, or a headline in the newspaper that threatens us all with destruction sends this whole pack of cards tumbling down. At first, I am overwhelmed and all of my happinesses look like broken toys. Then, slowly, bit by bit, I try to bring myself into the frame of mind that I should be in at all times. I remind myself that all these toys were never intended to possess my heart, that my true good is in another world, and my only real treasure is Christ.”

C.S. Lewis
The Problem of Pain

“Give me the courage to face the stark realities of life, and help me to move through each stage of development with a perspective of wisdom and joy instead of fear, knowing You will be with me.”

Keith Miller
Habitation of Dragons

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9 comments on “Getting Old”

  1. Aww, it’s OK.
    I don’t know why, but I was thinking that your son died as a teenager. No one should outlive their kids.
    Is that you in the picture?
    Do you need me to write that post about my car accident? I have felt like it would be vain of me but if it will help, I’ll be happy to do it.

  2. Earthly reality stinks. Than God for his grace.

    • If it wouldn’t bother you to write it Holly, I don’t think it would be vain at all. It sounds to me like a story worth telling, and I’d like to read it.
      Yep… Thats me in the picture, about 2 years ago, trying some anti aging product during an excursion to NYC.
      (humming…I love New York…. Da da da da da da)

    • Glad we’rehere at the same time, Danny. :0)

  3. I would like to have that dream, too. Dr. Hays died that way – went to sleep one cold December night and never woke up.

    It was 10 years ago on the 12th that my father died, 10 years ago yesterday that we buried. Ironically, I received a catalog in the mail for Trappist coffins. I kid you not. A Trappist monastery in Ohio hand crafts coffins. Some Trappists make jelly, these guys make coffins, from trees on their property.

    Maybe I will use the Trappist catalog as a good way to bring up final plans with my mother, although she will probably outlive me!

    I loved the C.S. Lewis. I need to read more of him.

    • Me too, Anthony. I just read a passage from “The Screwtape Letters.”. I tried to read it when I was 19 or 20, and didn’t really understand it. I saw from the passage I read that it’s time to try again.

      Hard to believe your dad has been gone for 10 years already. The Trappist catalog sounds like a good opener. You could just hand it to her and say, Look what came in the mail.”. I agree though. . ..she’s in such remarkably good health that she’s going to outlive us all. Don’t worry….it’ll all work out in the end. :0)

      Ps….I saw a story about a guy who uses his casket as a coffee table. That way he’ll be all set when the time comes. No joke.

  4. You’re so pretty! I knew you were! I don’t know how. Anyway, will write the post and hopefully, it will help.

  5. The guy who uses the casket, that sounds like a short story you would read or a tv show.


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