On Growing Older:  The Best is Yet to Come!

For those of us nearing retirement we are becoming increasingly aware that growing older has some disadvantages.  For many, life gets more difficult.  So it was for an elderly Floridian who called 911 on her cell phone to report that her car had been broken into. She was hysterical and she explained: “They’ve stolen the stereo and the steering wheel!  They even stole the brake pedal and the accelerator!”


The dispatcher said, “Stay calm, lady.  An officer is on the way.”  A few minutes later, the officer called in, saying:   “Disregard that call from that elderly lady.  She just got into the back-seat by mistake.”


However, growing older has some advantages.  At 62, you get to order “stir fry” off the senior menu at Bob Evan’s which costs only $5.99!  Growing older often means you have a life time of wonderful memories with whom you have shared life.  The opening lines of Robert Browning’s poem “Rabbi Ben Ezra” resonates that blessing:


Grow old along with me!

The best is yet to be,

The last of life, for which the first was made.

But, no doubt, the best advantage of getting older is that you’re closer to eternity.  Admittedly, not everyone understands that.   Mark Twain wrote:  “Singing hymns and waving palm branches through all eternity is pretty when you hear about it in the pulpit, but it’s as poor a way to put in valuable time as a body could contrive.”


Unfortunately, Mark Twain didn’t understand the joy of being in the presence of God.  For the Christian…truly, the very last of life should be the very best as we consider heaven more and more.  The last words D. L. Moody spoke on his death bed reveals a common longing in the heart of every aging Christian:


Earth recedes…Heaven opens before me!


Yep, getting older is placing a greater hunger in my heart for heaven!  I’m realizing how important it is to make sure I don’t waste life on unimportant and passing things.  I don’t want to forget the purpose of life:  to get ready for eternity!  We were not made to last forever (on this earth).

One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my life in this dispensation.  But, it will be the beginning of eternity!!!    I may live 70 – 90 years here on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity!  This is just the dress rehearsal.  As the older timers often said:  “We’re justa passin’ through!”   We’re getting ready – to die and enter  eternity – which may be eternal life, … or eternal death. 


Getting older we are.  Have you prepared for eternity?

-Garry D. Pate, SWID Superintendent

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