On August 27, 2014, Andy Thomason, news reporter for The Chronicle of Higher Education wrote: "You are getting older. You are older now than you were at the moment this page first loaded. And now you're even older, and you can't stem the tide of time." What he wrote, of course, is correct. From the minute we are born, we continue every second of our lives to get older. Over time, this can become somewhat disconcerting. I suggest that there is, however, something we can do to make each stage of our lives more rewarding.
As human beings, male and female, young and old, we never seem satisfied with where we are in life. For example:
• If we have older brothers or sisters, we want to be able to do the things they do.
• When we are in nursery school, we want to be in kindergarten.
• When we are in kindergarten, we want to be in grade school.
• When we are in grade school, we want to be in middle school.
• When in middle school, we want to be in high school.
• When we are in high school, we want to learn to drive, get a driver's license, use the family car, and go on dates.
• When we are seniors, we look forward to graduation.
• When we graduate from high school or college, we look forward to getting a job, having our own apartment, and having a car of our own.
• When we get an apartment we are able to afford, we remember how good our digs were, in high school when we lived at home, or at college when we were in the college residence halls or a sorority or fraternity house.
• When we get our first car, we remember how good it was to use the family car, when we were not faced with monthly car payments and when someone else paid for gas, oil changes, new tires, general maintenance, and insurance.
• When we get married, we look forward to having children, but when we have very young babies that take total looking after, we look forward to when they can begin doing things for themselves. But when they begin to crawl and then walk, we have to spend time watching where they are. When they are young and unable to feed themselves, we look forward to when they can feed themselves. But when they are older and insist on feeding themselves, we have trouble coping with their messes.
• Young adult men tinge their hair with gray in the temples so they will look more mature, but when they get older, and real gray comes in, they dye their hair so they will look younger.
• Women begin to dye their hair early on, using various colors, often with highlights. Colors and styles change with age, but once coloring hair is started, it frequently is a lifelong process.
• When we get older, both men and women get tucks here and there or a little Botox every now and then.
• When we have a job, we look forward to time off, long weekends, vacations, and finally to retirement.
• After we retire, we have too much time on our hands and not enough money in our pockets, and we wish life were different.
• As we grow older and are not able to do many of the things we did in our younger days, we wish we were younger.
• When we are very ill and in pain we wish we were dead.
We just never seem to be satisfied with where we are in life or how God has created us.
In the Old Testament book of "Ecclesiastes," third chapter, we read: "For everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; . . .
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance; . . .
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away; . . .
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; . . .
a time for war, and a time for peace." (Revised Standard Version)
These are some of the more personal times mentioned in this passage. And we need to realize and accept that God, the Creator, created us to experience different times or stages in our lives. God intended for us to grow older with each tick of the clock.
In preparation for one of our high school reunion many years after graduation, the chairperson of our reunion suggested that each of us write about the best time of our lives. I gave this careful thought and simply wrote: "The present is the best time of my life."
Even though I am much older now and not as physically agile as I was in my earlier years, and have various aches and pains that naturally accompany growing older, I have a wisdom and understanding that are only possible by experiencing life. I post a weekly blog in The Huffington Post. I have time to ride my bicycle when I want to. I am one of the senior members of our family, and younger members come to me to seek advice. I have grandchildren to dote over and to brag about as they pass from one stage of life to the next on their way to becoming mature adults. There are now two great grandchildren who have started the cycle again. And there are all those younger family members who insist on helping me (sometime more than I wish).
Yes, life is good!
Now is now! Now is what it is! And we need to make the best of today even better in the tomorrows that lie ahead.