STAYING YOUNG AT HEART
On October 20, 2021 Queen Elizabeth at 95 years of age turned down Britain’s “Oldie of the Year Award” with this brilliantly written statement: “Her Majesty believes you are as old as you feel, as such The Queen does not believe she meets the relevant criteria to be able to accept and hopes you will find a more worthy recipient. With Her Majesty’s warmest best wishes.” The Oldie Magazine responded: “Long live the Queen! Perhaps in the future we will sound out Her Majesty once more.”
We live in a culture obsessed with youth. Most ads on television and in our print media feature young people. When ads do feature the elderly, it’s usually telling us how to stay young. They’re pushing products that claim to promote better health, fewer wrinkles, and increased energy to enhance our quality of life and help us live longer.
While all of us are aging, feeling old does not have to be inevitable. With the right attitude we can be young at heart no matter what date is blazing at us from our birth certificate. Psalm 92 tells us “The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, ‘The Lord is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.” (v:12-15)
Age is only a number. It’s our attitude that determines our altitude – our enjoyment of life and our productivity for Jesus. So what are some of these attitudes we need to cultivate to stay young at heart? Let me offer four.
1. Keep your mind fixed on Jesus. “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above.” (Col. 3:1-2) In Him we live and move and have our being God’s Word tells us. See each day as an opportunity to trust God more fully, love Him more deeply, and serve Him more joyfully.
2. Keep learning. Never stop seeking to know God better. Remember, as long as we are on this earth, our spiritual journey is a school from which we never graduate. We’ve got to keep learning and keep pressing on to grow in two areas: in the disposition of Jesus and in our knowledge of Him. (I Peter 2:2) Keep “…flourishing like a palm tree and growing like a cedar in Lebanon; planted in the house of the Lord…” “The secret of genius,” claims Aldous Hexley, “is to carry the spirit of the child into old age, which means never losing your enthusiasm.”
3. Let godly thinking shape your attitudes. Be joyful. Be thankful. Be prayerful …for this is God’s will concerning you. Joy and thankfulness can rejuvenate a sagging spirit. (Psa. 40:1-3)
4. Invest your life in others. Don’t let yourself become self-absorbed. It can happen. When aches and pains start to haunt us, it’s easy to turn inward and lose our salt and light influence. “You are the salt of the earth. …You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” (Matt. 5:13-15) Let your light shine!
Staying young while growing old begins with an up-to-date relationship with Jesus. A lifestyle that centers on God’s Word. Investing in others. And the daily renewal of our minds. Only spiritually renewed minds can truly know the richness of God’s good, pleasing, and perfect will. (See Romans 12:1-2)
Be blessed my friend.
The Barnabas Group (Loads of Love)
Genesis 18:1-15; 21:1-7; Matthew 11:28-30; Philippians 4:8-9