By Guest Blogger, Kim Shippey: Despite evidence of a steady increase in life expectancy, the news media and television commercials continue to be preoccupied with the aging process and ways to counteract it. It’s at the heart of countless studies on health and well-being.
Those who believe firmly in spiritual healing tend to approach these issues differently — sometimes with a blend of gentle humor and wisdom, but invariably through Bible-directed prayer.
The wisdom is usually reflected in remarks by writers such as Betty Friedan, who was quoted in The Week magazine of February 28 as saying, “Aging is not ‘lost youth’ but a new stage of opportunity and strength.”
This topic has also been on the mind of The Week‘s editor-in-chief, William Falk, who, musing about his unpredictable powers of recall in one of his columns, praised a new study by German researchers in Health & Science which reveals that the otherwise healthy minds of people over 45 resemble computers that have been loaded with an enormous amount of data. As Falk puts it: They whir and click, with the “wait” signal flashing, as they upload new information or sift through the old. And along with this, comes the “deep wisdom only long experience can bring.”
Falk draws further consolation from the response to the study’s findings from a cognitive specialist, Denise Park, who says, “There’s a reason we don’t have 20-year-olds running the world.” She’s absolutely right, says Falk. “And as soon as I can remember what it is, I’ll tell you.”
Wry humor apart, virtually everyone today seems to have a better perspective on ageless good health and boundless achievement in a wide variety of fields.
Recently a good friend of mine excitedly told me that he had just won his golf club’s annual match-play tournament more than 50 years after he had first won it. He wrote: “Prayer always plays a part in my tournaments. I don’t know where I would get without steady prompting from God. After listening for divine guidance, I sometimes ask, ‘Did I really hit that shot?’ I should listen more!”
The Bible includes inspiring examples of longevity among its characters along with the truths that sustained them. Think of the assurance that as we truly come to know God “[Our] life will be brighter than the noonday. Even darkness will be as bright as morning” (Job 11:17, New Living Translation). Or the vision of the prophet Isaiah who insisted that nothing could stand in the way of God’s promises to those who loved Him: “I will make thee an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations” (60:15).
This would be a good moment to top up those “threescore years and ten” and rejoice as never before in the ageless spiritual being we experience in our relationship with our eternal Father.