Growing older is not an excuse to stop advancing in our faith and our prayers. Confess that you have energy and stamina, a sound mind, spiritual discernment, and a desire to live an active life. If you have worries, give them over to God and trust that His promises to protect and take care of you are true. If you feel you’ve lost your sense of purpose, God can help you get back in the race and find personal fulfillment that can restore confidence and feelings of self-worth. When we lose our fervor, we stop living. Studies have shown that continuing to learn and develop can not only enhance our lives but possibly add to our longevity as well.
Is it true we are as young as we feel? Some are mumbling, ‘I don’t feel so young – ha!’ My grandmother did not act her age and was a force of energy. When her hair started turning gray, she would dye it red (she was a natural redhead) and was always laughing and giggling. She was an optimist and saw the good in everyone, except of course, the really bad people. She was happy! Why? Because she decided in her mind to be happy. This means the way we view life and ourselves is what people see. Have you known someone who acted old when they were young? My grandmother was active and hard-working, with an old-school “you can do it” attitude. She was such an inspiration to all who knew her and I will always remember her “glass-half-full” personality.
I’ve noticed at 65, that I have good days, and days when I’m tired and it feels like I’m being attacked with negative emotions. I realize we all have these up-and-down times, but one way to battle sadness and discouragement is to listen to music that cheers our hearts and lifts our souls or maybe read some inspiring stories of how people overcame seemingly impossible situations. How about asking a good friend to go out for a nice dinner and a movie, maybe to a museum, a concert, or take a weekend trip to see something interesting? Someone said you count your age by your friends and not years.
A friend confessed to me recently that he had drifted away from his daily Bible study time, which caused him to feel agitated and stressed. When he straightened out his priorities, it reminded him of shoveling coal back into the boiler like an old steam engine. Doing what we need to do is difficult and will take sacrifice, concentration, and perseverance. As we have mentioned before about our responsibility to be the caretakers of our garden of thoughts, if we don’t like the weeds, we can surely get rid of them.
Another great perk to being retired is that we can stay up late and sleep as late as we want. My mom frequently tells me she’s tired and I encourage her to go ahead and take a nap. She can do whatever she wants without feeling guilty. The same thing goes for eating. I realize some people are on special diets, but if you are relatively healthy, why would you deny yourself a special treat of your favorite food now and then? At 85, Mom tells me she intentionally bypasses the snack aisle at the grocery and I can’t help but laugh. My sister and I tell her that if she wants something, for heaven’s sake, enjoy it! Besides, who doesn’t like an occasional trip to Dairy Queen?
Keeping the fires of our dreams and convictions burning allows us to keep pressing forward with new challenges and keeps us enthused with faith, peace, and hope. Watching television can become so boring that it can put us in a coma, which means becoming motivated will include having to redirect our attention. It takes discipline to be focused on anything worthwhile. Ask God for more energy and consider taking supplements and vitamins with your doctor’s approval, of course. There are many opportunities to help others, such as volunteering at the library, a hospital, God’s pantry, your church, or some type of outreach organization in the community. Learn to play an instrument, research a topic you’ve always been interested in, write a book, write letters to those you love, go for walks, start a prayer journal, and intercede for those in need. Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying, “It’s not the years in your life that’s important, it’s the life in your years.”
Dr. Holland lives in Central Kentucky, where he is an ordained Christian minister, community chaplain, and author. Read more about the Christian life and his new book about miracles, “Receiving Our Healing,” at billyhollandministries.com or email him at [email protected].