By Elder Gerald DeForest Tyler
Let me share with you an actual fact that you may not yet know, just kidding really because you already know that all living people are experiencing “The Aging Process.” Yes, we’re all going through the aging process. Some people seem to like it while others don’t. I’m one who likes the aging process primarily because the alternative to aging or simply getting older is death, and I don’t like death. Death is my enemy and it can be very cruel and cold.
From time-to-time, I find myself engaging in conversations with individuals or groups of people who seem to almost hate or most certainly not like the aging process or getting older. Lot’s of people won’t even tell you their age – most especially some women. It’s like telling you their age is committing a crime or something, or maybe they think by not telling you they won’t age any more.
I’m currently 69 and I thank God for every one of my years. Please let my aging process continue because I don’t want to experience the alternative to aging, at least not yet awhile. I mean, all of us will eventually leave here and return to the dust from whence we came, but as for me right now, let my “golden years” roll on for some time yet to come.
Methuselah, the oldest human being known to man, why even his aging process ultimately came to an end when he was 969 years old (Genesis 5:27). So you see, “The Aging Process” will end for all of us eventually. That said then, let my aging process continue for years to come if that’s the “will” of Almighty God. My basic position on this aging concept is that I like it and I want it to continue on for me personally – so long as I can do for myself. If I was to live long enough to celebrate my one-hundredth birthday, it’ll be a “thank you Lord day” with me!
Now, on the other hand, if at some point in my life going forward, I, due to failing health, sickness or disease, became what we typically call or refer to as being a “human vegetable,” meaning that I became incapable of functioning adequately or well enough to perform basic daily necessities, that then is another matter altogether. If I ever became a “human veggie” (God forbid that should happen to me), then I really would want to go on home to be with my Lord at that point in my life.
I don’t want to live so long until I become a complete burden on any caretaker(s), that is, family member, relative, or anyone else for that matter. As long as I remain in my right and sound mind and can reason, talk, walk, feed and dress myself, etc., I want to live on no matter what my actual age might be. Age itself really doesn’t bother me so long as I can function adequately enough to take care of myself. If I can do for myself at the age of 150 – then so be it.
However, if for some reason I couldn’t function well enough to take care of myself even at the age of 30, and had to depend or rely solely upon others to do everything for me, then I really wouldn’t want to live here like that. I’d much rather go home to be with God. So once again, it’s really not “The Aging Process” itself. There are other factors.
It’s more about what I can and cannot do for myself. Young or old, for as long as I’m blessed with a sound mind, reasonably good portion of health and strength (physical abilities), then I most-assuredly want to live on. Young or old, if I was a complete “human vegetable” as it were, one who couldn’t perform basic daily functions for myself, then my desire would be to go home with the Lord Jesus Christ – got it? Might I encourage you to not be ashamed of telling your age, but rather, tell God “thank you” for every year he has already blessed you with! “Grace and mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied!”
Gerald D. Tyler, an ordained elder with senior pastoral experience, has been a God-called practicing minister since 1977 teaching and preaching the salvation gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.