Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Aging is not a disease. It's a privilege.

Recently I was part of a "virtual" four day seminar via the web (also known as a "webinar") called, "A Woman Inspired." Shelley Ballestero taught a course on caring for our bodies, inside and out. These words from her seminar stuck with me. "Aging is not a disease. It's a privilege."

Okay, here's a different perspective. Aging is a privilege? Wow. I like that. Living in a culture where youth seems to be valued above all else, what is there about aging that deems it a privilege? I decided to think on this one a bit. I just had a birthday and I can use some thoughts on the benefits of aging.

Somewhere along the way, aging was given a negative label. Sure we all know that certain things decline...but some of that can be prevented, which was precisely what her seminar was about. We have remarkable bodies, no doubt about it. Our Creator designed us with a mind-boggling precision. With multiple systems, all working at once and functionally intertwined, our bodies are amazingly crafted. But there are other parts of us too, not just the physical, that deserve equal attention, our emotions and our spirits are part of who we are and play into how we live on this earth.

My mom died at 45 and I realize how much longer I've lived than she did. I've watched my children graduate from high school, college and get married. What a gift! Everyday I get up and have a chance to take care of and make the most of what God has given body, emotions, and my spirit. I have to admit that I don't always view each day as an opportunity. People who have had near death experiences say they cherish each new day in a fresh way unlike those of us who may take rising each morning for granted.

One of the things I like about getting older is that I have more perspective. I've noticed how things play out over the course of time. I've observed cause and effect and have learned from that.

There is a verse in the Bible, Proverbs 2:10-11 which says, "For wisdom will enter your heart and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Discretion will protect you and understanding will guard you."

Perspective is something I wouldn't trade for my youth (most days!)

Photo: Marzanna Syncerz

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