Joy of aging

Next month I will be 53 years old. I was the youngest of my siblings and my father and grandfather were both the youngest in their generations, so I have been used to being young or the youngest. When I was young, there were many 2nd cousins who were my father’s age, and because of this it was difficult to think of me as old.

Recently, I have a lot more gray hair, but gray hair does not always come with age. Also, I have been absentminded since my childhood, so short-term memory loss did not necessarily make me feel old either. When I was a child, I used to lose things a lot such as umbrella, lunch box, gloves, etc. I even lost the wedding watch which was a gift from my wife. I lost it four months after the wedding, when my wife still has her wedding watch.

Nonetheless, I have few things which make me see my aging. One of those is my need for reading glasses. For small print, I need reading glasses. My eyes get tired easily so after reading for 15 minutes, it is difficult to read without reading glasses. Another fact is that I cannot sleep if I drink coffee. Before, I used to fall asleep as soon as my head touched a pillow. These days, sometimes I cannot go to sleep even when I am tired because I drank coffee earlier that day.

However, the most serious fact is a significant deterioration in my memory. I will be sure that I took care of something only to realize that it was not done. I will be confident that I heard someone say something. When the other person denies, then I realize that he/she was right. A few days ago, I looked for my I Pad before leaving the office. I was certain that I brought it after the morning sermon and placed it on the meeting table in my room. I thought someone might have come into my room and took it. After searching my room for a while, I went to the sanctuary ‘just in case’. My I pad was on the podium where I left it that morning!

That is why these days I am afraid to use the word ‘definitely’. Instead, I will say, ‘The way I remember it is…’ If someone says something different from what I remember, I will say, ‘Really…?’ If I were under interrogation, I must have been suspected of lying.

In spite of all these, I am happy to be getting old because of the special gift from the Lord which comes with age. As I get older, I notice that I have greater understanding towards others and situations. I am also more relaxed which in turn softens my character. I see that I enjoy greater freedom from many bad habits of youth and savor the deeper joy of walking with the Lord.

On top of all these, (it may be little premature to say this) I am glad that the heavenly home is coming closer. When I have run my course, there is a place where my Lord will welcome me. In that place, all my unfinished dreams will be completed and all the wrongs will be done right. I am looking forward to this glorious place. Because of my treasured hope for the place, I can work harder here and now.

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