What's Good about Growing Old? Anything?by Bobpublished on
This is a video that many of you should be able to relate to; if you are already older you can relate to this right now and if not, you will be able to relate to this later. That’s getting older; growing old. What’s good about that? I am facing that and I want to be optimistic about the future I have left. Since Love Beyond The Sea is a channel designed to Make Marriage Great Again and is for Higher Fil-West Education, you can bet that there is a component of marriage in here today, but a lot of it won’t be about the great blessing of matrimony. Sometimes I feel like on Love Beyond The Sea that I go where no man dares to go; today will be in that vein as the topic is aging or getting old. I am quite sure I will not cover everything here so please leave comments.
I am 59. They say youth is wasted on the young and it’s true that young people often don’t appreciate their youth and take for granted the energy, vitality and future they have. However, we aren’t going to enjoy that all the days of our lives if we live a long life, like many of us want to. Medicine is helping to keep people alive longer these days but are they living better?
I recognize that YouTube is often about having frivolous videos meant to entertain, and that’s fine but many videos are just plain vapid. You don’t learn anything, but on Love Beyond The Sea, I’d like to think I am saying things that people can learn something from. I tend to be serious and that is needed too. Now, let’s talk about what is happening to all of us-we are getting older.
Proverbs 20:29 ESV
The glory of young men is their strength, but the splendor of old men is their gray hair.
I think that what is in view here is wisdom, however, not all old men are wise. Another verse from the Bible on getting older is found in
Ecclesiastes 12:3-7 ESV Solomon uses the imagery of aging, incorporating elements of a dilapidated house, nature and a funeral procession
This is from bible-studys.com: Solomon uses the imagery of aging, incorporating elements of a dilapidated house, nature and a funeral procession
Ecclesiastes 12:3 "In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,"
All of this is describing the later years of a person's natural life. The strongest man will be bowed, if he lives long enough. The tremble could be for weakness, or for fear of his last days.
The hands and arms which protect the body, as guards do a palace, shake in old age. The legs, like supporting pillars, weaken. The Grinders are the teeth and those who watch through the windows are the eyes.
In the United States, when a person reaches 65 he stops working every day. He stays at home a great deal, usually and sometimes stands at the window looking out contemplating his past life. It is not as bright as it was in his youth. Life is fading away. His vision becomes weaker as he nears the end of life on this earth.
Ecclesiastes 12:4 "And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low;"
“Doors”: Lips that do not have much to say. “Sound of the grinding” refers to little eating, when the sound of masticating is low. “Rise up” indicating light sleep; “daughters of music”: The ear and voice that once loved music.
The sounds that go with normal life will not be as loud and distinct as they had been, because the hearing is gone. This speaks, also, of a time when the person, who is aged, does not desire the music and parties that went with youth.
Ecclesiastes 12:5 "Also [when] they shall be afraid of [that which is] high, and fears [shall be] in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:"
The aged become fearful of heights. They are not as sure of themselves, as they were in their youth. There is fear of falling and breaking something. We do not mend as quickly as we did in our youth. Fear is not the only reason. Our strength is not what it was when we were young.
Fear, in the verse above, is speaking of a time when we are not as self-confident as we were in our youth. The almond tree blooms turn from pink to white when the season is about over. This, probably, symbolizes the grey hair that goes with age. The grasshopper is associated with pestilence. Even the lowly grasshopper becomes a problem, when we are old.
"Desire" is speaking of the lusts of youth which fade away with age. Man "goeth to his long home" is speaking of heaven. The mourners are there, because the time of his funeral is near.
(Verses 6 and 7), are speaking of death.
Ecclesiastes 12:6 "Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern."
The silver "cord being loosed" and the "bowl being broken" is speaking of the life of man being over, or poured out. Age has cut him off from life. The water of life, now, does not flow.
Ecclesiastes 12:7 "Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it."
The flesh of man returns to the dust.
Solomon recalls (Gen. 2:7 and 3:19), as he contemplates the end of the aging process. The sage ends his message with the culmination of a human life.
“The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away” (Job 1:21; 1 Tim. 6:7).
Let’s start with my perceived negatives:
Getting older means less time left to live-Can you still achieve your goals with the time you have left? If it is marriage, then you are about out of time, health, and a future. The good thing about this is it forces you to want to make the best of the rest of your life, or at least it should. If you feel like I did at 53 that my best days were behind me but I still needed a wife, you’ll do whatever you can to pursue her, even to the Philippines!
It’s like a ballgame where you adjust at halftime and then later in the game so that you can win. The big difference is that in real life, you won’t be playing other games, there won’t be any second chances, so to win the game of life, you have to make very good decisions. Making good decisions matter so much when you are young and may have a lot of life yet to reap the rewards of those good decisions. If you are getting up there in years, you have less margin for error and procrastination will be more costly.
There are some people who get older and get sour and jaded and instead of making wise decisions, kind of give up. They lower the bar on what they are trying to accomplish, if they are trying to accomplish anything at all. Instead of giving themselves to a wife in marriage, they drink and loiter and take advantage of women. Yes I’m talking about sexpats, wherever they reside. That is NOT going out on a high note!
I was already 53 when I got married and it took going where I was wanted, going to another country-the Philippines-far, far away from the Good Life State of Nebraska, to find the best life-married life. I had to reevaluate how to find a wife. I had to decide what was absolutely necessary, I had to not be too picky, I had to be realistic, I had to go out of my comfort zone, but I was able to get married. I did not give up the search. I wasn’t expecting a wife to show up on my doorstep, I had been looking long enough in my country, so I decided to look in a different one. In 54 days I was no longer single.
Getting older means your health is most likely in decline-
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.
Wasting away is pretty strong language but the intriguing renewal part of this has to do with the life of the child of God, who is becoming wiser and more aware of the afterlife to come.
As for me, I have usually belonged to a gym and was in shape when I got married but I have also had ten surgeries and have still a bad neck, shoulder and back that requires cortisone injections and I would prefer to avoid any more surgeries. But one thing that would really make me feel old is if I was to have to grow old alone, unmarried, but that is no longer a concern.
I can’t say enough to young people who will be old someday-take care of your body.
Getting older means you have less margin for error-You don’t have as much time to recover from mistakes or bad decisions. The positive about this is that you must make sure that you learn from all of your life and make the very best decisions from now on. You may have to take a few more chances than you’d ordinarily take.
If you are older and need a wife (which is most people), you can’t keep doing what hasn’t been working for a long time. If you are in the west, you may have to head east. You may need to accept a different nationality and culture. All wife material is not restricted to your country. Try not to have so many deal breakers. I am not suggesting to “settle” rather to be wise and realistic.
Getting older might result in having fewer close relationships-This is a scary one for me. When you are younger, there is a tendency to focus on yourself and your interests and sometimes other people can seem like an obstacle, but you won’t think that way when you get older.
There is one relationship most people are told to get into and stay into and that is marriage. I think generally the younger the better. You have a companion in life and hopefully for many, many years. When you are young you might assemble an impressive list of friends and acquaintances, but over time, they tend to go in other directions. Having a wife with you when you are older is such a blessing. Of course, there is no guarantee of this but if you only had this best friend-your spouse-you would be doing well.
Now for some that are more positive-
Getting older means you have already experienced much in life and the earlier you start being wise, the more fondly you will be able to look back at your life. You will have good memories that you will be able to bask in. You will know you have persevered in much of life. I think as often as I can about what my wife means to me and how I enjoy doing things with her and for her. I don’t have to look back and ask “what if?”
You will be wiser and be able to pass on some of that wisdom-That is my intention on Love Beyond the Sea and Podcasts on Casting Beyond The Sea that you can access on lvbts.com. I was greatly concerned I was going to die alone but instead, am trying to help other men find a wife; overseas or not.
Getting older means having to reprioritize as much of our remaining life as is needed-This goes for spiritual, health, financial, and relational. It shouldn’t be a “fair well tour of decadence”, I think you should make all the amends you can and do things that have value. I believe that focusing on self in our latter years will result in a very lonely and unsatisfying finish.
Getting older means that you recognize for a fact that there is the inevitable decline coming and that necessitates doing something about it especially with our health-Don’t be that person that says “If I had only known I would have lived this long, I would have taken better care of my health”.
Getting older means you can think about what kind of legacy you are going to leave; what you want to be remembered by-Even as I say that I understand that after enough centuries go by, no one in the world will know that we walked the earth, but my point is that you should want to be known for something good for mankind.
This can include getting married, being a good parent, teaching people, influencing others, making a positive difference in the lives of others.
Getting older forces you to think about an eternal future-The most important thing is to know what is going to happen to you after you die. Most people don’t want to contemplate that anymore than getting older but one happens before the other. I hope you’ve had a good life and if you can make it better, then great, but we know the Bible is right when it says in James 4:14 yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.
Job 8:9 For we are but of yesterday and know nothing, for our days on earth are a shadow.
Psalm 92:12-15 ESV
The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the Lord; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the Lord is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
Exodus 20:12 ESV
“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.
Even at the end of a long life, it is possible keep living and never die! Getting older allows you to live like there is no tomorrow when you know that there IS a tomorrow!-
Romans 8:38-39 ESV
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Revelation 1:18 ESV
…I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.
1 John 1:9 ESV
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
John 11:25-26 ESV
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.
Do you believe this?” Read the gospel of John in the Bible, just one of many good places to learn about how to have eternal life.
The years of our life are seventy,
or even by reason of strength eighty;
yet their span is but toil and trouble;
they are soon gone, and we fly away.
Who considers the power of your anger,
and your wrath according to the fear of you?
So teach us to number our days
that we may get a heart of wisdom.
The very best good about getting old is when you have the faith to know that your best life is later…in a different place called heaven. In 2004 Joel Osteen sold millions of books with the title Your Best Life Now. It better not be. If your best life is now then you will be spending an eternity in hell. I can tell you that your best life should be the next one, in heaven. That will help push us through this one.
Since I know that this won’t be my best life, and that I will have a perfect and everlasting one someday, I don’t have to expect perfection in me or my wife, or the perfect health. I am not living my best life now, but I am living my most satisfying life to date, with my love beyond the sea.