In the first article of this series, we discussed the erroneous messages that we hear during the aging process, both from the world and from our own bodies.
In that article, I suggested journaling as a simple technique for mindfulness in combatting the misleading emotional impact of those messages. In this article, I want to move on to how we can plan our future with a renewed mind during the aging era of our lives.
Planning Your Future During the Aging Process
An elderly client I’ll call Frank (not his real name), related this story of how he gained his hopeful view during the aging process:
“I realized that there was a tendency to make plans around a potential death date and that I had to plan my future looking past it as if it wasn’t there. I have enjoyed the piano immensely and increasingly in the many years since and have taken on a number of other new endeavors, including just recently, writing a book.”
Too many seniors have embraced a plan of gradually shutting down, retiring, doing less and less, doing nothing new, to eventually peter out and be extinguished. That is not a plan. You must bring your faith into your planning for the future. Plan with no end in sight.
This is not just a nice, encouraging thought — it is a biblical view and a renewal of the mind, a thought-generator displacing the ways of death the world has inculcated.
Think about a plant that is living — it continues to get larger, to increase. That is the way of life that is everlasting, it continually increases. That which is ahead is more than all that has been thus far.
Another client shared about the night he began looking forward to getting older: “On my 50th birthday I was attending a night class in my profession. The professor seemed like a kid to me, perhaps about 35. I thought, ‘If we both die tonight, who’s ahead? I am. I have lived 50 years and he has only lived 35. I will always be ahead of him.” The world is telling me I have spent 50 and I’m going to run out, but I realize that no, I have 50, I haven’t lost 50. I look forward every year to gaining more.”
That view is again based on a biblical view. The Bible sees age as gain, an increase in value and significance. For myself, I am repelled at the thought of going back to the lack of insight I had at age 20 — no thanks, older is better.
It may be true that you will pass away someday, but debilitation is not good and God only wants good for you. Consider the story of E. W. Kenyon, a very enthused and prolific evangelist, pastor, and writer of the last century. It is reported that one day in his 80’s, he told his family that God had told him he was going to die today. He said a warm, but not sad goodbye to them all, sat down in an easy chair and died without having any maladies.
Whether you die early or late, or even have a permanent disability, God wants you to be prolific because living things flourish.
Counseling During the Aging Process
If you would like someone to stand with you in taking these biblical stances against the onslaught of the messages from the world or your own body, call our offices for an initial session.
“Piano Time,” courtesy of Darius Soodmand, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Beach Walk,” courtesy of Raj Eiamworakul, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Ahead,” courtesy of Yannes Kiefer, unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Coffee Time,” courtesy of Jeff Sheldon, unsplash.com, CC0 License