Bible passage: Romans 12:1-3
Focus passage: Psalm 92:12-14 NIV
"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,"
There are a lot of promises out there claiming to make you look years younger. People pay a fortune they don't really have to lift this, firm that, and look like someone other than themselves. Our DNA tells the truth. We might look 30 or 40, but really be 60 or 70. The key to the Fountain of Youth is not in a jar, a pill, or a surgery room. This secret is really no secret at all. What is it that scares us about aging?
It would be nice if we could turn the clock back to our younger days, during a time that was wonderful. We would probably have to go through the not-so-great stuff again, as well. We are all intrigued with the notion that we don't have to age, well, at least not so fast. But the truth of the matter is our days are still numbered by the Lord.(Job 14:5). We will not live here on earth forever (Psalm 102:26-28). So why do we try to look young for a longer time. Are we afraid of age? No, we are afraid of lack of acceptance and dying.
The answer to the Fountain of Youth we so desperately seek is not in a jar, a pill, or a surgery room. As far as physical youth goes, the answer is in healthy living. I once had a client, in her 60s, who was afraid of getting fat, as she put it, "like my friends." Actually, she looked great at her age, sporting size 6 clothing. So, she hired me to help her get down another size or two. I explained to her that in the aging process, we still develop. She was not happy to hear that we will thicken in the middle to some degree, even when we exercise and eat healthy all of our lives. What she really wanted was to be the size she was when she was in her 20's. I took her through safe exercise to help her keep her abs firm and pulled in, lose a few pounds, and look at her food intake. After 12 weeks, she had to admit that she would not be the same as she was in her 20's. In reality, she was afraid of aging, which she equated with getting fat. She was already doing what she should to stay looking as young as she did: eat healthy and exercise regularly. Age is not something to fear, but to make better.
My husband and I went to a festival at a harbor city on Lake Huron to commemorate the transfer of the lighthouse to city ownership. Beer flowed way too freely and we could smell pot occasionally. All we really wanted was to get away for the evening and see the fireworks we missed for the 4th of July. One man in his 30's was wearing a flashy, flashing, neon-colored squid hat! He certainly was outstanding wearing it with his sunburned beer gut dancing around with his beer can. How many people like this man spend money they don't really have and live like there is no tomorrow, cause deadly accidents with drunk driving or die young of alcohol liver disease? I'm certainly not saying this man will, but I've seen the end result of the foolish living displayed by so many at people through the years. Proverbs 20:29 NIV says, "The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old." There comes a beauty with age- wisdom. In that wisdom, we are also to continue to bear fruit (Psalm 92:12-14). This does not mean giving birth to more children, but to continue to pour into those who are younger, to love of the Lord. Proverbs 16:31 tells us that silver hair is a crown of glory, gained by a righteous life. In the time of the writing of Proverbs, it meant you didn't die early from your own stupidity! Fools die young because of their foolish living (Proverbs 10:21). It is far better to live wisely, giving glory to the Lord. We are called to bring up new believers in their faith in Christ, dying at an old age, yes, with silver hair, wrinkles, and achy joints. Squid hat picture from Ebay.com.
So, live a healthy lifestyle to give glory to God, not self. " Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship." (Romans 12:1 NIV) We should take care of our bodies, living longer and better to build up His kingdom. It's not about us, but about Him- The Lord. We are better able to live out our faith while nurturing others in their faith. There is no better fountain of youth for living out a godly life.
Healthy living makes aging more graceful. It give us greater opportunity to live out a godly life longer. "Physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things" (2 Timothy 4:8) because our physical bodies are temporary, but souls eternal. Accept no cheap imitations for this life nor the life to come.
May God bless you!