Aging

“Few of us know how to grow old gracefully. (Unknown) “Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (Psalm 90:12)” These are the words of encouragement from my calendar today. “Grow old gracefully,” are the words that catch my eyes and heart this morning. Growing old, I know, but gracefully gives room for reflection. I am juxtaposing it to Proverbs 22:4, “Humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life.” Hmmmm.

I suspect wealth is not just a monetary word but can also refer to the wealth of memories we choose to hold as we age. I must challenge my self daily to release that which needs to be forgotten, forgive that which I can, and invest in the valuable. I may not be high income but I am wealthy in memories of God’s grace – full of grace- to me.

I suspect honor is not the same as fame. One of the people I honor the most in my life was the first man who worked for me when we took our first assignment in a former famine relief camp in northern Kenya. I was a young wife with first baby, “straight from the LA freeway” I would say, and he was an “old man” in my eyes with a cloth wrapped around his waist and a toothbrush stick dangling from his mouth. He had been caught by the other tribe, emasculated and left for dead but rescued and taken to a mission hospital where he became a Christian. His children were by arrangement, “artificial insemination” I’d say and he could not be an elder in the church he attended faithfully because of his social history, not his faith history. That man taught this young woman more than an professor in college. He will never be president or American Idol or anything famous but the way he lived his life with grace and dignity, I am convinced will be honored in heaven.

I suspect life is not the same as years. None of us know what the day will bring nor how long our years will be. Kenyans always started church by saying, “Many wanted to live to see today but did not, let us worship our God.” I pray I can enjoy the days I am given as I age, focusing on the wealth of memories of God’s gracefulness to me, blessed by the many honorable people who have walked beside me, and trying to enjoy each moment that I am given. May we go through today, aware of God’s grace and blessing!

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