Last weekend, we traveled to Wisconsin for a wedding along with our son and his lady. It’s always delightful to drive through the land of my youth. The landscape is dotted with family farmsteads, pristine and well manicured. Giant spruce trees stand as sentries beside vintage homes, surrounded by cows, sheep and recently more horses than I’ve seen before. Wisconsin’s rolling hills break up the monotony of the prairie.
I was feeling my age as my aching body plowed through the five hour drive, but was renewed by the company and laughter as we traveled. The crumbling buildings on the landscape, were just another reminder that I’m growing old.
The aging process makes me long for restoration. The reality of aging is difficult to accept. Bodies crush under the every day process of living. The spine crumbles as years press down on it. Muscles scream as they become enflamed, less flexible, and unused. Hair begins to thin, memories are often deleted and sent to a cloud somewhere. Our skin is no longer pliable and wrinkles surround our eyes. I like to say that I was once six feet tall and everything has since pushed its way down into my hips. That’s why I’m only five feet now. My wrinkled face has been a source of comment from many children, but I a tell them that I earned every one of them.
Aging is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of courage to pass through this stage of life. Shakespeare had a lot to say about it. In his play “King Lear,” he speaks thus about growing old:
“The weight of this sad time we must obey,
Speak what we feel, not what we ought to say.
The oldest hath borne most: we that are young
Shall never see so much, nor live so long.”
The wedding was lovely, the celebration lively. I was reminded of younger days, spending energy on the dance floor, laughing and enjoying life. Those things don’t have to abandon us as we age. We can hang on to them, even though our bodies resist. As long as God chooses to keep us on this planet, we have the ability to make the most of it. Blocking out the ugliness of the world and focusing on what lies ahead in eternal bliss, is probably the one key ingredient in enjoying old age. God has promised new bodies. We have complete restoration waiting for us.