A Unique Opportunity in Growing Old

We, seniors, have a unique perspective on the world that today’s younger generation has yet to experience. We have seen a large transition from one generation of people inhabiting the earth to another. Only those fortunate enough to live for five or more decades get to witness this.

If you are my age, approximately fifty years ago perhaps you, like me, were in college. You were young, vibrant, and excited about the future.

Young people sitting on a blanket in a part with a dog.

Think about who was alive in those days. Probably most of your professors during that time are now deceased as well as many of your high school and elementary school teachers.

My parents and all their friends are now gone and, unfortunately, three of my siblings, too. Many of the people who were living just fifty years ago are no longer alive.

The humble passage of generations

They have been replaced by other people. Back in the seventies, my four children were nothing more than a single-celled egg inside of me. Now they are full grown and busy with their own families, working to make a life of their own.

My nine grandchildren who today occupy such a huge place in my heart and life were nothing more than a possible far-off blurry hope and vision of the future. A “Someday when,” passing thought every now and then.

Like most families today, we take a lot of pictures. When Looking back at them I’m always amazed me how they reveal the speed at which people rapidly change. Children grow up swiftly, marry and have children of their own while each of us steadily grows older each day.

Watching the world change at such an alarming rate can be bittersweet. In our lifetime the advances in technology have been incredibly mind-blowing while the decline of morality in the world is most disturbing.

A person's hand holding a cell phone and showing all the apps on the home screen.

When we were growing up in the 1960s my brother and I would dream of the future and we’d say, “You know, one day when you talk on the phone, you will be able to see the person you talking with.” We visualized something like a TV screen that one would sit in front of and talk with the other person. It never occurred to us that this device would be a small instrument that we would hold in our hands. And that this instrument would also be our camera, dictionary, computer, compass, alarm clock, library, etc. It’s where we socialize with friends and get our entertainment and music along with a host of other functions. No wonder we’re all addicted to it. Our whole life now revolves around this thing! Let’s face it. We all get a little stressed when we’ve temporarily misplaced it.

The one hundred year test

My dad used to tell me whenever I was upset about something, “Don’t worry, in one hundred years it won’t make a difference.” That quote helped me keep things in perspective then as it still does today. One hundred years from now hardly anyone alive on the earth will still be here. So, is my problem really that big of a deal? It very well could be a big deal, but if not, the one-hundred-year test will help reveal that. If it has eternal consequences, yes, it’s a big deal. If it involves the life, health, and safety of someone, of course. These are the things we should be most concerned about today. But if not, maybe we should let it go.

Honoring the passage of time

Some things get better with time and some things get worse, but one thing is for sure – in this incredible journey called life, nothing ever stays the same.

May this be a gentle reminder for us to love and appreciate the people we have in our life today and to enjoy and be thankful for whatever blessings we have this day, for tomorrow for better or for worse they will pass.

A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.

Job 14:5

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