Proverbs 20:29 – The glory of young men is their strength, and the splendor of old men is gray hair. (HCSB)
Proverbs 16:21 – Gray hair is a glorious crown; it is found in the way of righteousness (HCSB)
As I sip my coffee this morning I am thinking about a birthday party we attended recently. My friend just celebrated her 50th birthday. As with all of the milestone birthdays, there were a lot of “over the hill” and black decorations. Many of her gifts had to do with advanced aging — diapers, memory enhancers, walking canes. Her still-in-their-40s friends thought these gifts were quite humorous and encouraged all the guests to follow that line of gift giving. As someone who is very close to her “leaving the 50s behind” birthday, it seemed ridiculous for me to take part in the over the hill at 50 idea, but I did start thinking about aging. As a child, we are some number and a half. We are so proud of getting older; we just can’t wait another six months to be that next number. Sometimes we can’t even wait to get to the half mark so we are “almost”. Your 6th birthday may have been two weeks ago, but you are “almost 7”. Then those wondrous and life-is-going-to-be-amazing birthdays come into sight – 16, 18, 21! Then the writers say you turn 30, push 40, reach 50, and make it to 60. Wow! What an image that creates! It sounds as if we are climbing the steep rock wall of aging and just barely holding on. I recently read that Americans spent over $25 million MORE on anti-aging skin care products in 2011 than in 2010. I don’t know if that’s true but again…..wow! The media tries to convince us that we need to be more concerned about the age we look than the life we live. We chase after what we think will give us a better life by trying to fight the inevitable effects of aging and then lie about our age. When did aging become so bad of a thing that we hide it as in shame? I’ll readily admit that I miss the mornings of springing out of bed, ready for a day of activities. Now just getting out of the bed is an activity! But 2 Corinthians 4:16 says “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” (NIV). Lord, help me to see my gray hair as a crown instead of as a punishment. Help me not be so consumed with my outward appearance and what others see that I lose sight of what You see. Lord, I want to be the person described in Psalm 92:14 and bear fruit in my old age. Thank you Lord for Your great blessings.