thoughts on getting old...

I've been thinking a little about what it means to be old. It's not as simple as you would expect. The number of someone's age is fairly easy to ascertain, but the nature of their age is something entirely different. Some people are old at 30, while others are young at 75. What makes the difference?

All this has been on my mind recently as I've navigated some things with other people...they were doing them in a way that I would have termed 'old', although in most cases, our age difference wasn't enough to justify the term. In other words, if they were old, I wasn't far behind...but talking to them felt like talking to an ancestor. They wanted to run an event that would have worked great. In the 80's. I balked...and wondered "why do I see this so differently?"

In some cases, I meet people who are numerically younger and still felt like old people to me. If it's not a number, what does it mean to be old?

The best way I can describe it is this...as you age, you grow decreasingly aware of your changing surroundings. At the young end of the spectrum, you notice every change of the wind in fashion, music, and thinking. That's not healthy long term, so by God's design, you mature..and you're affected less by those things...but as some point, you don't notice them at all. You begin to think that the world is frozen in time - that opinions, methods, and perspectives never change....particularly your own. This all happens at wildly varying rates....hence all the young old people and old young people.

The secret of staying young has little to do with botox or a fountain of youth. It has more to do with keeping your eyes off yourself and on others - not for their lead, necessarily, but for cues of life. If you can take it in, you can walk it out.

additional resources/thoughts
If you find this article surprising, you're edging towards old. If you think IM indicates the writer missed an apostrophe, you really need to follow the link.


Esther Irwin said...

I'm soooo glad you came back to blogging! Good insite on this subject.

Earl said...

When my oldest daughter, now 21, was 7 she thought 15 was old; her 15 year old friend that lived with us thought 30 was old; I wasn't to far from 30 and thought 60 was old; therefore old is twice your age. Mmmm

My grandmother, when she was 75 refered to the old ladies in her sunday school class, but you dare not call her old, no sir! She was by several years the "oldest" the oldest lady in the group. Mmmm

Well, I think you've got the right ideas Randy. Being 50 I plan on staying "young" by keeping in touch with what is happening and the changes in our world. Thank's for rememding me! I've got a lot to do yet and the greater part of Nicaragua, 70%, is 25 years younger than me. What you've shared is important if I'm to continue impacting my world and the generations to come. Thanks.

Earl said...

I read these vss. this morning

Ps 92:12-15
The righteous flourish like a palm tree... they are planted in the house of the LORD... [Growing in grace AMPL]they still bear fruit IN OLD AGE; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the LORD is upright...

Back on the thoughts on getting old. It interrupted my final touches for the morning message.

Maintaining our youthfulness... stay full of sap [vitality, vigor, energy, growth in the spirit of the future, full of abundant-life and fruitfulness] and stay green [able to be molded, bent or formed, able to flex with change and move forward with it, even better provoke it].

We must be planted in the house of the Lord, in the courts of our God [where the river and the flow is Ps 1]. This house, court, river of God must be contrasted with cisterns [Jer. 2:13] of dead, man made traditions and methods of the last decade(s) [day old manna --that are a result of not being in the flow of the river of God [faith, praise, worship, prayer and intercession].

Randy, you've got me hiped... I want to burn out, not rust out. I want the next generation [my 7 kids and the people I touch in Nicaragua] to go on with God and surpass me by light years of "greater works than these".

I'm gonna stay young until the day I die old!

Matt Lockett said...

Also a true statement:
Your hair style and wardrobe freeze at the moment you think you looked your best. I have many friends that are keeping the Members Only jacket alive and well. Can you say "shoulder epaulette."

Speaking of hair, I detect stubble on that little noggin of yours. That's new, but I haven't seen you in a while.

Earl said...

Randy, here is an article from MSN/Associated Press on maturity and some possible reasons for the process. I thought the ideas were at least interesting.

Teens’ brains hold key to their impulsiveness http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21997683/