Continuing to Grow

January 3, 2007

I cleaned out my closet the other day getting rid of clothes I no longer wanted or which no longer fit. Yes, I have to admit my waist size has grown slightly. Fortunately I have been blessed with a metabolism that has at least kept me looking rather fit all my life. Even with that blessing, however, middle age brings bodily changes even to the best of gene pools. It has dawned on me that even as fully grown, mature adults, we keep changing and growing…and we will until the day we die.

I have been giving the thought of growing old a bit more time lately. I have to admit the idea is not very appealing to me. The prospect of further physical changes, all of which are going the wrong direction, leaves me feeling rather depressed. A friend recently wrote that old age arrives with the grace of a wrecking ball. I haven’t been hit too hard yet, but is that what I can expect?

Part of the reason for my feelings of depression at growing older is owed to a good dose of vanity, pure and simple. But a deeper reason I feel has to do with the shrinking of opportunities, the narrowing of time to accomplish the things I still want to accomplish along with the loss of strength and health to accomplish them. I am committed to doing my best at staying in shape and taking care of myself, but I also realize I cannot hold back the inevitable forever.

As my body keeps changing and growing (not necessarily in the right direction) I also want to keep growing and changing in the right direction. Deep within me is the desire to finish strong…..to make the most of the opportunities still left….to truly believe and live as though my best days are still ahead of me.

I desire to continue to grow, not just in knowledge or wisdom, though important, but more important in love and character. If my days before God on this earth should number close to my dad’s, who died at 91, or my mom’s, whose still living at 93, I want to know that I have arrived there a better man than I am today. I want to be able to look back on my life and rest in the fact that, in spite of missed opportunities, wasted time, unfulfilled dreams and failures, at least I never stopped pressing on, I never prematurely threw in the towel, I never gave up the fight.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16