So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)
We all experience the aging process. Even my eight-week-old grandson is aging. Like many older people, eight-week-old Brooks is experiencing the pain of aging. He is already cutting teeth. It hurts, which causes irritability, diarrhea, and fits of crying. Ironically, many of those at the other end of the age spectrum feel similar discomfort. Babies and the elderly have more in common than one might expect.
Aging isn’t a disease we must cure, but a reality that must be embraced with dignity and faith. Brittany Denis, DPT, in her article, “What You Can Learn from the Longest Study Conducted on Aging,” shares the results of The Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Denis states, “It began in 1958 and continues to date. For this study, researchers enroll participants age 20 or older and monitor them for life.” It is one of the largest studies on aging ever conducted. The findings are illuminating.
The study finds that people age differently. Denis continues, “There may not have been one single marker for aging, but there were several strong predictors of how individuals would age.” There were two dominant findings that came to the forefront. First, those individuals with a positive attitude toward aging aged with a better quality of life. Second, good mobility in middle age was a positive sign. “The better their walking speed and balance in their 40’s and 50’s the better they age as well.”
While we cannot necessarily control our walking speed and balance, due to unforeseen health challenges, we can certainly control our attitudes toward aging. Pray today for an eternal life perspective. Aging isn’t the end of our youth and vitality, it is just part of a larger transformation that will continue after our death, with a new resurrected body. When we can face our limitations knowing that they are not our permanent reality, they become easier to face. When God is in our lives, the comfort of our eternal perspective fills our hearts and minds. Then, we can take better control of our aging!