I’ve discovered another principle of physics. As the body grows older gravity increases exponentially. When the body is young, its parts stay in place, firm and fit. But as age sets in, the parts start to slide — downward. And the energy expended to lift the body from a sedentary position increases.
I love to watch children skipping and dancing down the sidewalk. My grandchildren, 8, 6 and 2, run wherever they go, and climb anything they can find. I enjoy the grace of teenagers gliding effortlessly on skateboards, sprinting after a fly ball, or leaping to make the catch. And I think to myself, once upon a time, that was me.
There are different perspectives about growing old. “Grow old along with me” wrote Robert Browning, “the best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made: our times are in His hand.”
Thomas Jefferson wasn’t so kind. “First one faculty withdrawn and then another, sight, hearing, memory, affection and friends, filched one by one, till we’re left among strangers, the mere monuments of times, facts, and specimens of antiquity for the observation of the curious.”
I’ve heard others say, “There’s nothing good about growing old.” And, “growing old isn’t for wimps.” The last of these sayings is probably true, but not the first.
When Billy Graham was in his 90s he wrote, “I can’t truthfully say that I have liked growing older. At times I wish I could still do everything I once did — but I can’t. I wish I didn’t have to face the infirmities and uncertainties that seem to be part of this stage of life — but I do.” He asks the important question, “Is old age only a cruel burden that grows heavier and heavier as the years go by, with nothing to look forward to but death? Or can it be something more?”
In his book, “Nearing Home,” Graham wrote, “Growing old has been the greatest surprise of my life. … When granted many years of life, growing old in age is natural, but growing old in grace is a choice. Growing older with grace is possible to all who set their hearts and minds on the Giver of grace, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
My wife and I celebrated our 50th anniversary last year. I wrote a book about our journey and published it on Amazon, “Our Story.” It highlights our life together for more than half a century with joy, laughter, celebration, sorrow, loss and disappointment. The longer we live, the deeper we discover life’s textures. The colors become more vibrant, and the blessings and goodness of God, more clear.
Along with David, I can say, “I will utter dark sayings of old which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not conceal them from their children, but tell to the generation to come to the praises of the Lord, and His strength and His wondrous works which He has done!” (Psalm 78:2-4).