Aging is one of the conditions of our humanness and, in that sense, is incurable. I have found peace with my aging, not only through accepting it but by making it an offering to God, who can transform it into something for the good of others. The early fires of youth may be just embers in my life, but the God of the past is also the God of the future.
In June 9, 2018, I turned 66. Age, I am discovering, can be a powerful tool in your hands. It can motivate you to be more than you ever were before. The past is simply the beginning of the process of becoming better and becoming more in Christ. The concept of “finishing well” has been the center of my thought life for the past several years. Losing one’s spouse is difficult to say the least. Prior to Becky’s death four years ago, my life was going in one direction. Now it seems like everything has changed. There is a hole in your life that only one person can fill, and she’s not here. But here’s what I’ve been discovering: You are still the same person. You’re just traveling in a new direction. There’s a “new normal.” God still has a good plan for your life, but it’s different from the one you’ve been used to for so long.
My children have helped me to see this. Though they’ve never exactly put it into words, I can see it in their loving eyes: The God who took mom to heaven will fill your emptiness, dad. Let go and free yourself to move on. Yes, the homeward journey has been rerouted a bit, but one day you’ll say hello again. Mom just went to the banquet table before you, that’s all, dad.
Paul was committed to “the only thing that matters” (Phil. 1:27). That’s my goal too. To attain it, there are things I need to forget, and there are other things I need to reach toward. “We’d better get on with it,” says the author of Hebrews (12:1-2, The Message). “Strip down, start running – and never quit! No extra spiritual fact, no parasitic sins.