Every time I go in for my six month physical, I feel like I’m getting an oil change. Each of my levels is checked to make sure they are functioning the way they should. I’m asked the same questions I was asked six months ago. Are you getting enough exercise? Are you eating right? Do you feel safe at home?
The answers don’t change. I’ve never done the right amount of exercising. I’m physically active when I know I’m moving, which often is as simple as getting out of bed. I eat the same way I did when I was twenty five, but now the exercise I’m not doing is catching up with the caloric intake. I feel safe at home. I’ve always felt safe at home until someone started asking me if I feel safe at home. The thought never occurred to me before.
Suddenly when we get older, we are somehow treated like little children again. It is assumed that we have lost all our mental faculties – our physical stamina – our ability to think, reason and take care of ourselves. Today there are more people who call themselves senior citizens then ever before. I used to think being a senior was a place of honor. Now that I am one, I’m having second thoughts.
I’m still a viable part of my community. I am active in the community theatre scene. I have a social life. I am involved in church activities. I spend time with friends, but I also enjoy being alone. I have lost a few inches in height, but still feel I stand as tall as most of my peers. I believe I am here for a purpose. I’m still trying to figure out what that is. I love to write and spend hours a day doing so. I still enjoy puttering in my garden, though now my body requires more H2O because I sweat more than I did when I wasn’t doing all that exercise as a youngster.
As I approach another birthday, I always like to take a look at what I’ve accomplished through my time on this planet. It’s like getting a 100,000 mile checkup. Things are beginning to break down and parts have to be replaced. The spark plugs need changing and the belts need tightening, but the engine is still OK and should last for a while longer.
We never know how long we have left. My time could be up today. I could live another twenty years. When looking at a life, we should really look forward rather than back. The miles we’ve put on during our existence have taken us on many adventures. We’ve seen many things and discovered much about the world around us, but the truth is looking back isn’t always the best way to live. Pressing on to the final victory, which has already been won for us, forces us to look ahead. God has given these years as a time of grace – a time to make a difference in the life of another person – a time to share the love of God – a time to spend wisely.