by Annette Bridges. © 2006. All rights reserved.
Ominous predictions regarding the advance of “old age” for baby boomers continues to hit the airwaves. Since I’m bringing up the tail end of the baby boomer generation, I cry, “Slander! Don’t imprison me in an age box! I will NOT go peacefully and willingly!”
Who says the passing of years determines our age? Not astrophysicists! These thinkers report there is in fact no connection between the daily spinning of the earth, its annual circling of the sun and the aging of humans. So, why do we put ourselves into age boxes that are supposed to define who we are and what we’re capable of doing?
Let’s begin with the premise that our nature is not defined by age but by what the Creator gives to His beloved creation. And what God gives can only be emanations of Himself — such spiritual qualities as goodness, beauty, strength, ability, wisdom, vitality, intelligence, usefulness and so forth. Because these qualities have their origin in God, they are as infinite as their source and cannot be limited or defined by some mistaken, mortal concept of time and age.
Now I realize the battle to overcome feelings of mortality, with all the expected and accepted aches and pains associated with age, can be daunting. But I’m embarking on a journey to overcome my own slavery to the limitations that age tries to impose. And I say you can, too!
While the news media announce baby boomer doom and gloom, they also applaud accomplishments made by those whom they categorize as seniors. Such as the successful mountain climber at age 81, the man still flying airplanes at 86, the man golfing competitively at 103, grandmothers organizing and playing in a basketball league, or the grandmother who went back to college for her master’s 50 years after receiving her bachelor’s degree. These stories are newsworthy because producers consider them “unusual.” But what if these stories were not thought unusual but rather the normal and natural continuation of life and purpose?
Numerous examples in the Bible teach us the infinite and timeless nature of life. Elizabeth was far past the age of childbearing when she gave birth to a son. And Samuel had the wisdom and discernment to hear the voice of God when just a young child. Abraham could have let his 75 years convince him that God was calling upon the wrong person to father a nation, but he didn’t hesitate to believe and follow God’s direction.
Certainly, neither days nor years mattered to the Master in his healing work. He restored a woman who had suffered from a blood condition for 12 years. He healed an impotent man who had struggled for 38 years. He healed a man who had been blind from birth. He raised a man who had been dead for four days. Christ Jesus showed that an understanding of God and a willingness to do His will enables one to transcend all human timetables.
Could this be the road to ageless living — a divinely based outlook that can remove the view that claims aging has validity? An outlook that asserts decrepitude is not natural or inevitable.
God has called each of us to fulfill a specific mission, and we can be humbly willing to be God’s instruments for His purpose. And, indeed, this higher motive empowers our ability to do the work needed. Since we’re all treading the path of eternal life, our mission and purpose continue in eternity. They don’t end at some humanly established age. And our resources, those inherent spiritual qualities for accomplishing our purpose, are inexhaustible and renewable.
This assurance from Job gives me encouragement: “Thou shalt be steadfast, and shalt not fear: because thou shalt forget thy misery, and remember it as waters that pass away and thine age shall be clearer than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning” (Job 11:15-17). These words tell me to not dread or fear any mortal view of my life with its many dire predictions and low expectations — that I can look to a divinely based outlook that precipitates a view open to unlimited possibilities.
Freedom from humanity’s immovable opinions and fixed beliefs on aging is possible if we dare to imagine those unlimited and infinite possibilities. Wendell Phillips, renowned American abolitionist of the 19th century, wrote: “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” So, we must be alert and diligent in the watch to move our thought and actions beyond restrictions of age. This will require focusing more on God than matter, more on our spiritual qualities and less on mortal characteristics and impressions.
Instead of ruminating on reasons why we can’t do something, we must affirm that as God’s children, we can do what He directs us to do. When God directs, God enables!
We can accept our divine inheritance as children of God right now. Age has nothing to do with fulfilling our life purpose. This means you and I can live our purpose unboxed and without age limits.