When we find ourselves looking at the daily obituaries, we realize that we have reached an age when death seems to loom large over our thoughts and expectations. Let's face it, dying is not something we can scratch out of our life's expectancy. But does dying mean that we have to eliminate a call to live?
Age is frequently identified with death. "How old was she?" we ask. 90? Oh it was expected. Like the rich man, we tend to remember their last moment in the simple words: she/he died. Simple, clean and resolved! But is death the destiny of our aging years? Poor Lazarus did not just die, he went to the 'bosom of Abraham'. He came to the banquet of life.
The wisdom of age has awakened us to a realm far superior then the limited offerings of this life. We are destined not to die, but to live. Even now we must learn to live fully the interior life that brings joy, peace, love, blessings and thankfulness. It is a gentle passage of seeking every detail of God's endless gifts as we wait for the final treasure of his Spirit presence forever. When you arrive closer to the place of destiny, park your life safely in peaceful mode, walk across the standing traffic of earth's business and reach the other side where there is a festival that will leave you longing to remain forever.
Do not dodge death. Live for life! Embrace each promise, each gift, each moment as a quest for endless peace. As others increase their pace around you in search of this life's meager offerings, walk confidently the slower step of your journey relishing the gem that awaits you and has already found you. It is the dessert that brings sweetness to a life of faithful dining at the table of the Lord. It is worth longing for and waiting for its fulfillment: LIFE AT ITS BEST!
Part of our burden of aging is the lessening of our abilities to hear, to understand, to adjust to changing times, or to have the energy of youth to carry on without limit. There is one lasting quality that becomes ever more and more a gift in maturing years. That is the gift of presence. As the years go on we need to develop a ministry of presence. Presence is like the silent vigil light that assures us of God's love. Presence is a warm affirmation of a lasting embrace. Warm presence is signaled by a smile, the aged glow of knowing eyes, the gentle nod of recognition, the kind acceptance of that over which we have no control. Presence is best observed as joy, tolerance, trust, understanding, prayerful vigil. Simple presence returns us to our youthful innocence when nothing matters but the return presence of someone else's love who gives purpose to our life for loving them first unconditionally.
As we age, our thoughts often get fixated. Not much can change our mind or attitude. We can get to be cantankerous with others and even with God. Many times it is because we don't know how to deal with the moment, so we take a stand to be in control anyway. That is when it is so important to listen. Listen to God: let your spirit find its peace in the unlimited opportunities of God and trust that any change is possible when God is our guide. Listen to others who love you: people who care may be friends or family, neighbors or fellow church people - listen to them because anything that comes to you out of love is truly inspired for your welfare. Listen to yourself to hear how you are coming through to others. Let Silence be your friend. Enjoy it and be creative with your thoughts when alone. Let Silence deepen your peace when you are with God. Let silence serve others when you don't like what they say. Listening is a wonderful way of letting the heart stay young while you grow in wisdom.
A thankful heart opens the avenue to peaceful acceptance. When we keep seeking that which is not, we cease to appreciate that which is. But God continues to surround us each day with so many blessings of people, situations and things that support and sustain our coming and going. We see God's care in the small and the big event of life and only those who open their eyes to see can rejoice with a youthful joy at what the Lord is accomplishing for us. A thankful heart keeps us young. Let the laughter of an innocent heart flood your soul with the light of thankfulness.
Dependency, trust and appreciation are the signs of a child-like heart. We begin to lose our youthful innocence when we begin to think outside of life's flow. We burden ourselves with useless and tiring anxieties that transform maturing youth into demanding childish attitudes. We grow out of our youth into aging sorrow and anxiety. We take positions counter current and stand brazenly against the movement of peaceful grace. The more we learn to say "yes" to each moment and follow the grace of God's blessing upon us, the more we retain that child-like heart that is pleased to carry out God's plan for our day. Humble acceptance keeps the heart joyful, peaceful and young.
Many are the struggles of the human heart. The tensions that we allow to invade our spirit bring the ravages of time and remove the sweetness of life's gifts. The youthful heart bends under the invading forces of life's demands and remains in the caressing assurance of peace. Keep peace in your heart and be a bearer of peace in your relationships. Then that peace will live in you and will give you the zeal and the enthusiasm of youthful innocence.
Make every day a new Birthday! Let the unexpected things in your life surprise you with promise and hope. God does not call us to live the burden of the past, nor to freeze the present: he wants us to follow Him to ever new possibilities of life, hope, love and gift. What gifts do I receive from God today and how can I make these a gift to others? It is always a good time to unwrap the endless favors of God. The child in me must always be ready to learn something new and to be in awe of the mystery that is yet to be revealed in my daily life. The heart of youth is a heart of adventure.
The child in me must always be ready to learn something new and to be in awe of the mystery that is yet to be revealed in my daily life. The heart of youth is a heart of adventure.