Aging is a subject near and dear to my heart. I like to say I am on the down shaft of 50 and the up shaft of 100. There … I’ve given away my age.
Life expectancy in the U.S. in 2019 was 78.87 years. In 1928, a demographer predicted that average life expectancy in the U. S. would never exceed 65 years. So much for that false prophet!
Many scientists, those not working on COVID-19 vaccines and cures, are working on extending our lives. Their goal is not to make frail old people live longer, but to make us young longer. Like Ponce de Leon they are searching for the Fountain of Youth.
Government grants and vast investments from giant corporations are backing research on the causes of aging and how to defeat the aging process. Their aim is to make us all Methuselahs. Remember, he lived 969 years?
Once, a long time ago, in the Garden of Eden there was no aging. Adam and Eve were created as fully grown perfect male and female. Eve was most assuredly the most beautiful woman the world will ever see. She was perfect in every way: no blemishes, no stretch marks, and no extra pounds.
Mental health was an unknown expression in Eden. No pollutants, no processed foods, no stress, no crazies running around burning everything in sight. Perfect bodies. Perfect minds. No death. The wages of sin is death. They were sinless.
Adam bit the fruit – enter aging.
Eve was the first woman to experience aging. We are at a great advantage over her; we know what to expect – she didn’t. How long was it before she noticed a wrinkle or gray hair? We have no idea, but it must have been a great shock. Just as it used to be for me, but not anymore, I’m used to it.
Ever since this couple introduced aches and pains into the human race, people have been trying to figure out how to escape old age and death.
Why? Because it’s built into us to want more. We know there has to be more to life than this. We want life to be longer and better.
Have you heard the joke about the woman who complains about a restaurant? She says, “The food is lousy, and the portion was too small”.
It seems logical that if you don’t like the food, you won’t want more of it.
But many people regard life like this woman. They’re not really happy with their lives, yet they want more of it. They not only don’t want to die; they want to be forever young.
Why? Because, in each of us there is a craving for life to be more than it is, for something to fill up what’s missing in our lives, and for something to take away the fear of death and what lies beyond.
Jesus addresses that craving for life when he says, “I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). Jesus gives us new quality of life and quantity of life when He saves us. Quality in that He makes life worth living, abundant life, and quantity because He gives us life unlimited — eternal.
We don’t need years added to our life; we need life added to our years.
Scientists are searching for the fountain of youth, but they won’t find it in body parts, cells, or DNA. They will never find the deepest cause of deterioration and death, and they will never find the cure that truly gives life. Death came when Adam disobeyed God. The cause of death is sin against God, and the only cure for death is Jesus and the Spirit of God.
Jesus says, “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63)
So, because Jesus’ words are spirit and they give life, I have a new outlook on aging. It’s bringing me closer to him. I can say with Paul:
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day (2 Cor. 4:16).
Bring on the wrinkles!