When I turned 50, I said to myself, “I am not THAT old.” When I turned 60, my friends told me, “Sixty is the new forty.” Finally, when I turned 70, I admitted, “Seventy is THAT old!”
Now I am almost a decade older. I’ve written a book on aging. But I am still surprised by the experience of getting older.
My soul is growing as my body is aging.
To grow means to change. Paul wrote, “Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.” (Ephesians 4:23). As we age, we are invited to allow the Holy Spirit to change the thoughts and attitudes we have held for decades. Some perspectives and spiritual disciplines that helped me when I was younger are no longer life-giving.
As my body ages, I have less energy and fewer opportunities. The Holy Spirit is changing my expectations and priorities.
I need to unlearn some of the things that I used to believe.
I used to feel responsible for many things. Now that I can do less, God is inviting me to think about my days in terms of fruitfulness rather than productivity.
The list of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22–23 reminds me that it is more important to love others than to finish my “to-do” list.
I want to focus on the invitations God gives in my losses.
Jesus said,“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” (Luke 6:20). When I was younger, I had important jobs to do and places where I found significance. Now I am losing some of that sense of importance. Some days my spirit feels “poor” about all I have lost.
Jesus promises I will experience the Kingdom of God even as I experience this part of aging.
He said God’s Kingdom is like “a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens.” (Mark 4:26-27)
What a comfort this is! I can toss seeds on the ground (when I have the energy!) and then go to bed. I don’t understand it, but whether I am asleep or awake, the seeds are growing.
I thank God for the fruit of this season of life.
*For deeper reflection, listen to Ephesians 4 today.
- Ephesians 4