So here goes. The older I get:
- The less my lack of coordination matters. In grade school, I was always last pick for baseball teams, even when my supremely athletic best friends were the designated captains; couldn’t hit the ball, you see, in spite of all the hours my beloved daddy spent trying to teach me. I finally left the shame permanently behind at age 50, realizing that I would never again be asked to wield a bat.
- The more I enjoy rereading favorite old books. When it comes to pleasure-filled reading, there are advantages to being forgetful. For instance, I can now read an Agatha Christie mystery for the second or third time and be every bit as surprised by whodunit as I was the first time through.
- The less I worry about my appearance. Whereas looking “cute” or “attractive” or “thin” was once a top priority in my life, these days looking “clean” is good enough.
- The fewer unpleasant or difficult things populate my To Do list. For example, a few years ago, I awoke to the fact that I’ll never again have to make a speech, squeeze into a swimsuit, or interview a gaggle of radiologists about the clinical implications of some great new cardiac CT software.
- The less worried I am about concealing my politically incorrect opinions. For us senior citizens, there's no longer any need to get into a good school or land a plum job, so why hold back? (Of course, if we continue marching down the road to tyranny, I may one day be arrested for thought crimes; but “life in prison” isn’t quite the threat it would have been a few decades ago.)
And for the born-again Christian, the advantages of advancing age are positively overwhelming.
For one thing, there’s no longer much sting associated with evangelistic rejection. In fact, every year it becomes easier to share my faith with an unbeliever. Perhaps he thinks I’m nuts for believing in a literal Genesis and Jonah, or incredibly narrow-minded for insisting that there’s only one route to heaven. And maybe she’s self-righteously offended that I have forced my “religion” on a person as good as she is. That’s okay with me; just so they somehow retain these seeds of truth until the Lord succeeds in breaking their stubborn hearts to make way for the gospel.
Even more important, old age means never having to say you’re worried—not even about the most highly touted disease du jour. For born-again believers in Jesus Christ, the sky is never falling; a heavenly forever awaits each of us at journey’s end.
And that's the most precious silver lining of all.