Frailty of Human Body
Weaver, Dallas, joined one of those exercise clubs on television and she said
she tried to keep up with the athletic young woman who led the exercises. Kay said she really tried but Kay
describes her experiences like this:
1, 2, 3 (fast), 1, 2, 3 (slower), 1, 2, 3 (real slow),
How's this for a great perspective on life when you're 100 years young?
Henry Stenhouse, a 100 year old Goldsboro, N.C. eye doctor running for Congress in North Carolina's 3rd District, figures time is on his side. He calls his two opponents in today's Republican primary "capable." But, he says, "They don't have the advantage I have." What's that? "Perspective," says the man aiming to be Congress's first centenarian. The district hasn't had a GOP representative since Reconstruction, but Stenhouse is undeterred.
His platform: Stop foreign aid. End welfare. Rewrite the tax code. He calls child care "another welfare thing" and says the country would be better off if women stayed home.
Stenhouse vows not to serve more than two terms. "I don't want to be there all my life," he reasons. -- Desda Moss, USA Today May 8, 1990
George Burns once said, "Tennis is a game for young people. Until age 25, you can play singles. From there until age 35, you should play doubles. I won't tell you my age, but when I played, there were 28 people on the court -- just on my side of the net.── Bits & Pieces, April 28, 1994, p. 19.
Man is like an automobile. As it gets older, the differential starts slipping, and the u-joints get worn, causing the drive shaft to go bad. The transmission won't go into high gear and sometimes has difficulty getting out of low. The cylinders get worn and lose compression, making it hard to climb the slightest incline. When it is climbing, the tappets clatter and ping to the point where one wonders if the old bus will make it to the top. The carburetor gets fouled with pollutants and other matter, making it hard to get started in the morning. It is hard to keep the radiator filled because of the leaking hose. The thermostat goes out, making it difficult to reach operating temperature. The headlights grow dim, and the horn gets weaker. The memory chip drops a few bytes, and the battery needs constant recharging. But if the body looks good with no bangs, dents or chipping paint, we can keep it washed and polished, giving the impression that it can compete with the newer models and make one more trip down the primrose lane before the head gasket blows. Gentlemen, start your engines. ── Pinging Like Crazy in Tulsa, in Ann Landers, Spokesman Review, December 24, 1993, p. D2.
A couple had been married for 50 years. "Things have really changed," she said. "You used to sit very close to me."
"Well, I can remedy that," he said, moving next to her on the couch.
"And you used to hold me tight."
"How's that?" he asked as he gave her a hug.
"Do you remember you used to nudge my neck and nibble on my ear loves?"
He jumped to his feet and left the room. "Where are you going?"
"I'll be right back," he said. "I've got to get my teeth!"
── Tal D. Bonham and Jack Gulledge, The Treasury of Clean Senior Adult Jokes (Broadman) quoted in Reader's Digest.
Children touring a retirement home were asked by a resident if they had any questions. "Yes," one girl said. "How old are you?"
"I'm 98," she replied proudly.
Clearly impressed, the child's eyes grew wide with wonder. "Did you start at one?"── Contributed by Ruth Naylor, Reader's Digest.
Old age is dreaded by almost everyone because it usually means loneliness, physical decline, and a retreat to inactivity. Some people tend to lose their enthusiasm for life and spend too much time in fruitless reminiscing and self-pity. They feel like "Old Jimmy", an elderly gentleman George Mueller often told about. When this man was asked what he did all day since he had retired, he replied, "I just sit and think, and sit and think,...and sometimes I just sit!" That's getting old in the worst way -- ceasing to live before we die.
History records that many people made some of their greatest contributions to society after the age of 65. The Earl of Halsburg, for example, was 90 when he began preparing a 20- volume revision of English law. Goethe wrote Faust at 82. Galileo made his greatest discovery when he was 73. At 69, Hudson Taylor was still vigorously working on the mission field, opening up new territories in Indochina. And when Caleb was 85, he took the stronghold of the giants (Josh. 14:10-15).
God never intends for us to retire from spiritual activity. The Bible says we can "still bring forth fruit in old age." Even as Jesus kept the "best wine" for the last at the wedding in Cana (John 2:10), so He seeks to gather the most luscious clusters of the fruit of the Spirit from the fully ripened harvest of our lives. You may be sure God wouldn't keep you on this earth if He didn't have a worthwhile ministry for you to accomplish. So keep on serving the Lord!── Our Daily Bread.
The great evangelist George Whitefield was relating the difficulties of the gospel ministry to some friends. He said that he was weary of the burdens and was glad that his work would soon be over and that he would depart this earthly scene to be with Christ. The others admitted having similar feelings -- all except one, a Mr. Tennant. Noting this, Whitefield tapped him on the knee and said, "Well, Brother Tennant, you are the oldest among us; do you not rejoice to think that your time is so near at hand when you will be called Home?"
The old man answered bluntly that he had no wish about it. When pressed for something more definite, he added, "I have nothing to do with death. My business is to live as long as I can, and as well as I can, and serve my Savior as faithfully as I can, until He thinks it's time to call me Home." Whitefield accepted that word as a gentle rebuke from the Lord, and it helped him go on with his work calmly and patiently. ── Our Daily Bread.
The distinguished behaviorist B.F. Skinner was addressing the Nova University 1978 Conference on Aging. He was explaining how, at age 74, he made allowances for his impaired vision and hearing.
Skinner recalled a time when he was having a Chinese meal in a busy senior-center living room, and someone sitting near him pointed out the food in the middle of the table. Skinner decided he was expected to eat some. As he took a piece, he admired its thin, pale-brown crust. Eating the crunchy delicacy, he wondered how the Chinese were able to produce such a fragile, yet crispy, crust. Then he noticed that his neighbor was eating the same thing. She was peeling hers. It was a hard-boiled egg.── Contributed by Marylou Hughes, Reader's Digest, May, 1980.
F.B. Meyer once confided to his friend F.A. Robinson of Toronto, " I do hope my Father will let the river of my life go flowing fully until the finish. I don't want it to end in a swamp." ── W. Wiersbe, The Wycliffe Handbook of Preaching & Preachers, p. 193.
Our pastor called the other day and told my wife, Helen, that at her age she should start thinking about the hereafter. "Oh, I do, I do," Helen told him. "No matter where I am, I ask myself, 'What am I here after?'"── Source Unknown.
A couple we know recently attended their 60 year high school class reunion. During the evening they were chosen to head a group that would judge the Old Smoothies dance contest. The husband has a hearing problem and his wife has been trying to get him to get a hearing aid. When the contest got down to the last two partners, the wife conferred with the group of judges and then whispered the name of the winners to her husband. He didn't hear, so she told him again and then yelled, "Get the bananas out of your ears!" The husband immediately seized the microphone and announced the winners: "Mr. and Mrs. Bonnanas!" Their name turned out to be Smith. That wasn't bad enough--then the wife explained to the Smiths that they had won because they did such a great job of executing all those dips. "Dips? What dips?" said Mr. Smith. "We were just trying to hold each other up." ── Bits and Pieces, April, 1991.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. was and still is generally regarded as one of the most outstanding justices in the history of the U.S. Supreme Court. He was known as the Great Dissenter because he disagreed with the other judges so much. Holmes sat on the Supreme Court until he was 91. Two years later, President Roosevelt visited him and found him reading Plato. "Why?" FDR asked. "To improve my mind," Holmes answered.── Bits and Pieces, December 13, 1990.
※ 我的眼力可能日漸衰弱，但我的視野卻與日俱增。─ J.C. Penney九十五歲時所說的話
Old age is always 15 years older than I am. ── Bernard Baruch.
By the time a person gets to greener pastures, he can't climb the fence. ── Frank Dickson, quoted by Ira G. Corn, Jr., United Feature Syndicate.
Wisdom doesn't automatically come with old age. Nothing does -- except wrinkles. It's true, some wines improve with age. But only if the grapes were good in the first place. ── Abigail Van Buren, Chicago Tribute-New York News Syndicate, quoted in Reader's Digest, May, 1980.
Lowell Thomas, speaking at a luncheon, warned that one of the dangers of passing the 80th year of age is that "everything you say reminds you of something else". ── Editor & Publisher, quoted in Reader's Digest, May, 1980.
It's only natural for older people to be quiet. They have a lot more to be quiet about. ── Reader's Digest, May, 1980.
The greatest happiness usually comes not in youth, but in old age. Men generally are happiest during their middle sixties, women during their seventies. Unhappiest time: early fifties for men, late forties for women. ── Gail Sheehy, quoted in Homemade, November, 1984.
The closing years of life can be peaceful, happy, and productive. A man or woman of God doesn't need to escape them by dwelling on past glories; nor does he need to make them miserable by developing a bitter, complaining spirit. God gives the whole of life to live, and the psalmist suggests that even our later years can be fruitful and flourishing. But we must begin by being happy now!
The well-known Christian psychiatrist Paul Tournier gives insight on this subject in his book The Seasons of Life. He writes, "True happiness is always linked with deep, inner harmony. It therefore always implies an acceptance of one's age; the acceptance of no longer being a child when one has reached the age of adulthood, and the giving up of the goals of active life when one is advance in years. This is the age of retirement, which for some men can be a meaningful experience, while for others it is a cruel trial. Why such differences? Partly, undoubtedly, this comes from differences in temperament. Yet more so from something else. Those who complain about their retirement are usually the same ones as those who used to complain about their work and longed to be set free from it!" ── Our Daily Bread.
Old age can be a most rewarding period of life. For those who have found the satisfaction of a loving and close relationship with the Heavenly Father through faith in His Son, the "sunset years" can be more appropriately labeled the "golden years".
Henry Durbanville felt that way. In his book The Best Is Yet To Be he wrote, "I feel so sorry for folks who don't like to grow old...I revel in my years. They enrich me...I would not exchange...the abiding rest of soul, the measure of wisdom I have gained from the sweet and bitter and perplexing experiences of life; nor the confirmed faith I now have in the...love of God, for all the bright and uncertain hopes and tumultuous joys of youth. Indeed, I would not! These are the best years of my life...The way grows brighter; the birds sing sweeter; the winds blow softer; the sun shines more radiantly than ever before. I suppose 'my outward man' is perishing, but 'my inward man' is being joyously renewed day by day.
Robertson McQuilkin wrote, "God planned the strength and beauty of youth to be physical. But the strength and beauty of age is spiritual. We gradually lose the strength and beauty that is temporary so we'll be sure to concentrate on the strength and beauty that is forever." ── Our Daily Bread.
Retirement may increase a man's risk of dying of heart attack. "We found an 80 percent higher rate of death from coronary disease among those in a study who had retired compared with those who had not," said Dr. Charles H. Hennekens of Harvard Medical School. It may be that some people who retire get all nervous about it and kind of tense," said Hennekens. "That may be a way of explaining this, but I just don't know."
Hennekens said he and his colleagues were trying to set up a long-term study of up to 10,000 elderly persons to determine their physical and mental responses to retirement. Among the variables not included in the current data, he said, were length of retirement, changes in lifestyle and attitudes toward retirement. The last may be very important, he said, since "for some people, retirement is a reward for a lifetime's work and they look forward to it. But for other people, it is a punishment for growing old. Those who feel that way perhaps might be the ones who get nervous, but we don't have that breakdown."
Each victim was matched with another man of similar age living in the same neighborhood. Of the 568 pairs of victims and controls, 102 included one retiree and one person still at work. Of those, Hennekens said, 76 of the dead men were retirees, while only 26 of the living men had retired. After adjusting the information for age differences and other variables, he said, "there was still this 80 percent association." He said the tentative findings applied only to men in whom coronary disease is much more common than in women. By age 60, one in five American men will have had a coronary problem, while the figure for women is about one in 17. ── Des Moines Register, November 11, 1979, Fingertip Facts.
You know you're growing old when:
The gleam in your eyes is from the sun hitting your glasses. You feel like the night before, and you haven't been anywhere. Your little black book contains only names ending in "M.D." You get winded playing chess. Your children look middle-aged. You finally reach the top of the ladder, only to find it leaning against the wrong wall. You join a health club and don't go. You decide to procrastinate, but then you never get around to it. Your mind makes contracts your body can't meet. You know all the answers, but nobody asks you the questions. You look forward to a dull evening. You walk with your head held high, trying to get used to your trifocals. Your favorite part of the newspaper is "25 Years Ago Today." You sit in a rocking chair and can't get it going. Your knees buckle and your belt won't. You stop looking forward to your next birthday. Dialing long distance wears you out. You just can't stand people who are intolerant. The best part of the day is over when your alarm clock goes off. You burn the midnight oil after 9:00 p.m. Your back goes out more than you do. A fortune teller offers to read your face. The little gray-haired lady you help across the street is your wife. You sink your teeth into a steak and they stay there.── Source Unknown.
"Little Pills Where Goeth Thou?"
We take pink pills for old arthritis and green ones, perhaps, for the heart.
A blue one because you are dizzy--hope the stomach can tell them apart.
A white pill controls the blood pressure; a red one helps soften the stool;
A yellow one calms you down greatly so you won't be acting the fool.
There are two-toned, and gray and brown pills for relief from head-aches and gout,
Diabetes, ulcers and heartburn, sure hope each pill knows the right route.
What a terrible mess up there could be if your headache pill went to your toe,
And the laxative pill traveled upward 'cause it wasn't quite sure where to go.
If this should ever happen to you, you'd either laugh or you'd weep.
'Cause you'd probably run off at the mouth and your feet would be falling asleep.
How in the world could you stop the dilemma unless you stood on your head,
So the pills could all change directions before you wound up sick in bed.
What would happen if time released capsules forgot to do the right thing
And released all their pellets at once. A great upset they would bring.
So little pills of every kind, just wend your way thru us and find
The ailment that we take you for so we won't worry anymore!
── Ester Stout, Pioneer Home, Thermopolis, WY.
How to Know You're Getting Older
Everything hurts! and what doesn't hurt, doesn't work!
You feel like the night before, and you haven't been anywhere!
You sit in a rocking chair and you can't get it going!
Your knees buckle and your belt won't!
Dialing long distance wears you out!
Your fortune teller offers to read your face!
The little gray haired lady you help across the street is your wife!
You sink your teeth into a steak, and they stay there!
You wake up in the morning and your water bed has sprung a leak,
and you realize you don't have a water bed!
When you watch a pretty girl go by, your pace-maker makes the garage door go up!
When you know all the answers, and no one asks you the questions!
When you decide to procrastinate, but never get around to it!
── C. Swindoll, Strengthening Our Grip, p. 128.
Thought I'd let my doctor check me
Cause I didn't feel quite right
All those aches and pains annoyed me
And I couldn't get to sleep at night.
He could find no real disorder
But he couldn't let me rest
What with Medicare and Blue Cross
It wouldn't hurt to do some tests.
To the hospital he sent me
Though I didn't feel that bad
He arranged for them to give me
Every test that could be had.
I was flouroscoped and cystoscoped
My aging frame displayed,
Stripped upon an ice cold table
While my gizzards were X-rayed.
I was checked for worms and parasites
For fungus and the Crud
While they pierced me with long needles
Taking samples of my blood.
Doctors came to check me over
Prodded and pushed and poked around,
And to make sure that I was living
They wired me up for sound.
They have finally concluded:
(Their results have filled a page)
What I have will someday kill me,
My affliction is .....Old Age.
── Source Unknown.
Beatitudes for friends of the aged--Esther Mary Walker
Blessed are they who understand
My faltering step and palsied hand.
Blessed are they who know that my ears today
Must strain to catch the things they say.
Blessed are they who seem to know
That my eyes are dim and my wits are slow.
Blessed are they who looked away
When coffee spilled at table today.
Blessed are they with a cheery smile
Who stop to chat for a little while.
Blessed are they who never say,
"You've told that story twice today."
Blessed are they who know the ways
To bring back memories of yesterdays.
Blessed are they who make it known
That I'm loved, respected and not alone.
Blessed are they who know I'm at a loss
To find the strength to carry the Cross.
Blessed are they who ease the days
On my journey Home in loving ways.
── Esther Mary Walker.
Shall I? - Or - Have I?
Just a line to say I'm living
That I'm not among the dead.
Though I'm getting more forgetful
And more mixed up in the head.
For sometimes I can't remember
When I stand at foot of stair,
If I must go up for something
Or I've just come down from there.
And before the frig', so often
My poor mind is filled with doubt,
Have I just put food away, or
Have I come to take some out?
And there's times when it is dark out
With my nightcap on my head,
I don't know if I'm retiring
Or just getting out of bed.
So if it's my turn to write you
There's no need of getting sore,
I may think I have written
And don't want to be a bore.
So, remember...I do love you,
And I wish that you were here;
But now, it is nearly mail time
So I must say: "Goodbye Dear".
Here I stand beside the mailbox,
With my face so very red,
Instead of mailing you this letter...
I have opened it instead....
── Source Unknown.
But Not Today
I shall grow old perhaps, but not today, not while my hopes are
young, my spirit strong, my vision clear, because life has a way
of smoothing out the wrinkles with a song.
I shall grow old, perhaps, but not today, not while my dreams
remain a shining shield, my faith a lance, and 'neath a sky of
grey, my colors wave upon the battlefield.
I shall grow old, perhaps, but not today, not while this pen can
write upon a page, and memories turn Winter into May, shall this
stout heart be brought to terms by age?
I shall grow old, perhaps, but not today, and scorning Time who
would enlist my tears, I stand convinced there is a better way,
of occupying all the coming years.
I shall grow old, perhaps, but not today, in my own style and in
my own sweet time, no night so dark there does not fall a ray of
light along the pathway that I climb.
Just say of me, when my last hour slips like one bright leaf to
softly rest among the others..."Life was Summer to the heart, of
one who died believing she was young."
── Grace E. Easley.
One thing about getting old is that you can sing in the bathroom while brushing your teeth.── Source Unknown.
Shall we sit idly down and say,
The night hath come; it is no longer day?
The night hath not yet come; we are not quite
Cut off from labor by the failing light;
Something remains for us to do or dare;
Even the oldest tree some fruit may bear.
── Henry W. Longfellow.
Jesus loves me, this I know,
Though my hair is white as snow;
Though my sight is growing dim,
Still He bids me trust in Him.
Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes Jesus loves me,
Yes, Jesus loves me, The Bible tells me so.
Though my steps are, oh, so slow
With my hand in His I'll go
On through life; let come what may,
He'll be there to lead the way.
When the nights are dark and long,
In my heart He puts a song,
Telling me in words so clear,
"Have no fear for I am near."
When my work on earth is done
And life's victories 'been won
He will take me home above
To the fullness of His love.
── C.D. Frey, Tennessee, in The Bible Friend.
There's nothing whatever the matter with me;
I'm just as healthy as I can be.
I have arthritis in both of my knees;
And when I talk, I talk with a wheeze.
My pulse is weak, and my blood is thin,
But I'm awfully well for the shape I'm in.
Arch supports I have for my feet,
Or I wouldn't be able to walk on the street.
Sleep is denied me night after night,
And every morning I look a sight.
My memory is failing; my head's in a spin.
But I'm awfully well for the shape I'm in.
The moral is, as this tale we unfold,
That for you and me who are growing old,
It is better to say, "I'm fine," with a grin,
Than to let them know the shape we're in.
── Source Unknown.
How do I know my youth is all spent?
Well, my get up and go has got up and went.
But in spite of it all--I'm able to grin
When I think of where my get up has been.
Old age is golden, so I've heard it said,
But sometimes I wonder as I get into bed--
With my ears in a drawer, my teeth in a cup,
My eyes on the table until I wake up--
Ere sleep dims my eyes I say to myself,
Is there anything else I should have laid on the shelf?
I'm happy to say as I close my door
My friends are the same--only perhaps even more
When I was young, my slippers were red;
I could kick up my heels right over my head.
When I grew older my slippers were blue
But still I could dance the whole night through.
Now I am old--my slippers are black--
I walk to the store and puff my way back.
The reason I know my youth is all spent
My get up and go has got up and went!
But I really dont' mind, when I think with a grin
Of all the grand places my get up has been.
Since I've retired from life's competition
I busy myself with complete repetition.
I get up each morning, dust off my wits,
Pick up the paper and read the "O-bits";
If my name is missing, I know I'm not dead,
So I eat a good breakfast and go back to bed!!
── Source Unknown.
"GROWING OLD GRACEFULLY"
1. In speaking about "Growing Old Gracefully", I feel much like N. B.
Hardeman who when asked to speak on a similar topic...
a. Stated, "I am too young to speak as one should on this subject."
b. Even though he was in his eighties or nineties at the time!
2. Most young people do not think about "growing old", which is
a. For they have yet to experience the reality of "growing old" in
the sense of declining in one's physical strength and mental
b. For them getting older has always meant getting better as they
draw closer to the peak of their physical maturity
3. If they talk about "growing old", it is often with disdain for the
way many people spend their golden years...
a. Discontented with life
b. Set in their ways
c. Bitter towards many people
-- There is often truth in what the young say about the old: "Some
old women and men grow bitter with age. The more their teeth drop
out the more biting they get." - George Dennison Prentice
4. This has prompted many young people to say: "I will never be like
that when I get old!"
a. But growing old gracefully does not happen by accident
b. Unless one understands and applies certain principles while young,
the chances are great that he or she will become like the elderly
they are quick to despise
-- Think carefully about this statement: "Most men spend the first
half of their lives making the second half miserable." - La
[How are you spending the first half of your life? Will you grow old
gracefully? Before we consider certain principles conducive to graceful
aging, a reminder of...]
I. THE POSSIBILITY OF GROWING OLD GRACEFULLY
A. ILLUSTRATED BY BIBLICAL EXAMPLES...
1. Moses, at the age of 120 (note the vigor of the speeches in
Deuteronomy) - Deu 34:7
2. Joshua, as he addressed the elders of
(note his Israel
conviction) - Josh 24:15
3. Barzillai, the Gileadite (note his gracious hospitality at age
eighty) - 2 Sam 19:31-38
4. Dorcas, who helped the poor and widows - Ac 9:36-39
5. The graceful manner in which Paul faced death - 2 Ti 4:6-8,
6. Peter aged gracefully...
a. Becoming an elder - 1 Pe 5:1-2
b. Remaining diligent as death approached - 2 Pe 1:13-15
c. Forgiving toward those who rightly rebuked him - 2 Pe 3:15;
cf. Ga 2:11
B. ILLUSTRATED BY PERSONAL EXAMPLES...
1. One does not need to go to the Bible to find the only examples
of people growing old gracefully
2. I am sure that we have all known such people
3. I have been blessed to know a number of such people in my life
-- Yes, growing old gracefully is possible! When it occurs, it is
beautiful to behold: "When grace is joined with wrinkles, it
is adorable. There is an unspeakable dawn in happy old age."
- Victor Hugo
[Unfortunately, too often wrinkles are joined with grace. How can we
who are young live today so as to grow old gracefully, and not
pathetically? There are several principles that when applied can ensure
that growing old will be a graceful experience...]
II. THE PRINCIPLES OF GROWING OLD GRACEFULLY
A. "WHATEVER A MAN SOWS, THAT HE WILL ALSO REAP..."
1. Stated more fully in Ga 6:7-8, this is true in all areas of
a. For example, in the physical realm
1) Sow corn, you reap corn
2) Take good care of your body, and you enjoy good health
3) Disregard healthy habits, and the body will suffer for it
b. This is especially so in the spiritual realm
1) "Even as I have seen, Those who plow iniquity And sow
trouble reap the same." - Job 4:8 (Eliphaz)
2) Much of the bitterness, discontent, and anger which
characterizes many older people is the result of "sowing
to the flesh"
a) Note the works of the flesh (the result of sowing to
the flesh) - Ga 5:19-21
b) Contrast the fruit of those who sow to the Spirit - Ga
3) How much better to do as Hosea says: "Sow with a view to
righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness;" (NASB)
- Hos 10:12
2. Yet the young often say: "I want to sow my wild oats while I
am still young"
a. Then what? Hope for a crop failure? (Don't count on it)
b. They fail to realize the harvest of trouble they will reap
later in life
1) Abuse their body with sex and drugs, their health will be
2) Engage in sexual immorality...they will ruin their
reputation, and make it difficult to have a normal family
life and the joy it ought to bring
c. Consider the sad irony of it all...
1) Most young people do not realize that the popular
lifestyle of "doing your own thing" and "sowing your wild
oats" is the very thing that produces the pathetic
mental and physical condition found in many older people!
2) So while they condemn the old for the way they wasted
their lives and the way they turned out, they are headed
down the same path of corruption!
3. "He that would pass the latter part of life with honor and
decency must, when he is young, consider that he shall one day
be old..." - Samuel Johnson
B. "MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE..."
1. Quoted by Jesus in Mt 4:4, let's focus our attention on two
a. Bread - involves more than just dough; includes all things
of a material nature
b. Live - involves more than simple existence; includes living
life in its fullest sense, i.e., an abundant life
-- We must realize one does not find the good life in seeking
and acquiring material things - cf. Lk 12:15
2. If we don't learn this while young, we will waste much of our
life pursuing the wrong things, and hate ourselves for it when
we face death's door
a. Solomon came to this realization - Ecc 2:17-23
b. Rosseau, the French philosopher, saw the ungraceful way many
old people live out their later years as the result of
learning this truth too late: "Old men grasp more at life
than babies, and leave it with a much worse grace than young
people. It is because all their labors having been for
this life, they perceive at last their trouble lost."
3. There is more to life than material things; to grow old
gracefully we must realize this and find that which makes life
full and abundant!
a. Fortunately, Jesus came to help us - Jn 10:10
b. He is the true and living Way! - Jn 14:6
c. And it is the Word of God that shows us the way to Christ
- Jn 5:39
1) This illustrates the truth of Mt 4:4
2) The Word of God reveals Christ to us, who in turn shows
us how to really live, for He IS the Life!
4. What a shame to go through life, only to find at last our
labors were of no lasting value - cf. Lk 9:25; 12:15-21
C. "BLESSED IS THE MAN WHO FINDS WISDOM..."
1. The word blessed means "happy, rich"
2. Wisdom is insight, understanding, which enables one to make the
best use of his or her talents and circumstances, avoiding the
mistakes and pitfalls of life
3. The value of wisdom is:
a. Beautifully proclaimed in Pro 3:13-18
b. Illustrated in Ep 5:15-16
1) The days are evil (the time is short) - cf. Ja 4:13-14
2) Wisdom helps one to utilize to the fullest what little
time we have, instead of wasting our precious time
4. Wisdom can be acquired in two ways:
a. Personal experience
1) Which can be very wasteful and time-consuming
2) You can spend much of your life in trial and error,
repeating the same mistakes made by others
3) While you may finally gain wisdom...
a) You have not only wasted much time in the trials
b) You have to bear the consequence of your errors (you
reap what you sow)
b. God and His Word - Pro 2:6
1) What better source, than from He who by wisdom created
the universe - Pro 3:19-20
2) With such wisdom, especially at an early age...
a) Our journey through life will more pleasant and
graceful - Pro 3:21-26
b) We can get a head start and soon pass those who learn
only through trial and error - cf. Psa 119:97-100
[With the wisdom found in God's Word, it is possible to grow old
gracefully. For in it we learn:
1) How to avoid the needless suffering experienced by those reaping
the results of learning by trial and error
2) The true purpose of life is not to found in the material things of
life, but in that which Jesus Christ has to offer!
To help us apply these principles, here are some practical steps based
upon Paul's exhortations to the young preacher Timothy...]
III. THE PRACTICE OF GROWING OLD GRACEFULLY
A. BE AN EXAMPLE TO OTHERS...
1. "...be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in
love, in spirit, in faith, in purity." - 1 Ti 4:12
2. There is no way you can avoid being an example to others
a. You will be either be a good example
b. Or you will be an example of what not to be
3. Determine to be an example of those who believe, and this will
set you on the right track of one who grow old gracefully!
B. COMMIT YOURSELF TO THE WORD OF GOD...
1. "Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to
doctrine." - 1 Ti 4:13
2. Commit yourself to studying and teaching the Word of God to
3. This will assure that you have an open line to God's wisdom
4. So study the Bible daily, and share what you learn with others!
C. CULTIVATE YOUR TALENTS...
1. "Do not neglect the gift that is in you..." - 1 Ti 4:14
2. The degree to which you reap will be based upon the ability
with which you can sow
3. If you want to reap a large harvest of good in this life,
develop your talents!
D. APPLY DILIGENCE TO YOUR EFFORTS...
1. "Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that
your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself
and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you
will save both yourself and those who hear you." - 1 Ti 4:15-16
2. Growing old gracefully, like many good things, does not happen
3. It takes concentrated effort, so be diligent and persevere!
1. "To keep the heart unwrinkled, to be hopeful, kindly, cheerful,
reverent--that is to triumph over old age." - Thomas Bailey Aldrich
2. Is it possible to triumph over old age, to grow old gracefully? Yes,
for I have seen it happen time and again!
3. But those of us who are young must realize the experience is reserved
for those who...
a. Follow the wisdom of God
b. Understand the abundant life is not found in worldly things
c. Sow in such a way as to bear fruit and reap a harvest leading to
4. Such a person will be like those described in Psa 92:12-15...
"The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree,
He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
Those who are planted in the house of the LORD
Shall flourish in the courts of our God.
They shall still bear fruit in old age;
They shall be fresh and flourishing,
To declare that the LORD is upright;
He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him."
Don't you wish to be like that? By the grace of God you can! In Christ
Jesus you can become a new creature (2 Co 5:17), made possible by the
washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit (Ti 3:5).
The sooner you begin this new life, the less "baggage" of the old life
you will have to contend with, and the more you can do for the Lord...