So I was remembering the pastor's sermon from last week. He talked about how the reason (or one of them) that we fear growing old and dying is because we know that's not how God had meant for our existence to be. We weren't supposed to grow old, we weren't supposed to die. We weren't supposed to decay. We weren't supposed to leave. I read the blog of another blogger and she wrote about how when someone apologizes for another's loss or some other tragedy, instead of saying "thanks," she says "me too," expressing her agreement as to how essentially it's our fault that we grow old and die....
When God first made Adam, despite what He knew would happen, He wanted us to live forever and forever youthfully.
Now, this isn't to say that growing old is bad. Neither is death for that matter. I mean, think of it this way. Once we get to that point and beyond it, we know what's next. And because we know there's something afterward, we can boldly laugh in Death and Age's faces, saying that we have conquered them and that one day, neither shall ever hold more power than a baby gripping a feather as a weapon.
Again, though, about how neither of them is bad. Moreso age, true, since there's no painful loss (except maybe of the body's vitality, but that hardly counts as painful when compared to losing a loved one). Anyway. I will admit that I don't want to grow old. It also reeks of loneliness and forgotten-ness. But it doesn't have to be those. Take care of your body, realize just how much you care for it (without being lustfully obsessive about it), then you shall remain energetic and able. Even those with arthritis or worse make it on their own for as long as possible.
And it's annoying how media says age is ugly. Absolute LIES! Okay. It's not THE most attractive, what with uncontrollable flatulence and whatnot, it's still beautiful in its own way. Think of all the stories! To be honest, I'm not one for history in this stage of my life. But I will gladly listen to stories of the wars or the Depression or the 50s or the Roaring 20s if I could find someone to share them. I will gladly listen to stories of childhood loves, the defiant invincibility of adolescence and teen-hood, the struggles of maturity, the excitement of experience. I will gladly listen if only someone is there to tell me.
By doing that now, maybe I can one day have that happen for me. I have my own stories. I'd be fine to share them. :)
But back to the beauty: the physical aspect now. I like to imagine the wrinkles as road maps to people's lives. I mean, if there are laugh lines around their mouths, that means they've either had a good life or have taken their life well. Or both! The other lines tell similar stories, whilst not all will be cheerful, admittedly. Another way to look at the wrinkles is that, if the person is "uglier" than most, that means that person has had a rough life. But it ALSO means that he/she has had the will to push through to reach this "hideous" (by whose standards, anyhow?) age in life.
Beauty is seen in wisdom just as much as in symmetry. I've read a number of books where the "most beautiful" in the book had "wise eyes" or "eyes that had seen a lot" or something like that. In those saggy, weather-worn wrinkles with the dulled or piercing eyes peering from between the folds, there is a knowledge so deep and profound that, to some degree, even philosophers such as Kierkegaard and Plato didn't have (at least until they were older). One of the reasons that Socrates can be called the Father of Philosophy (in my opinion, it's a reason) is because he had age on his side. He was described as old. Well, it was his age that taught him he "knew nothing."
So, I close with this: beauty is in the mind just as much as the face. Death and old age shouldn't be feared because both will be conquered. Don't discard the old for youth because arrogance and ignorance reign more freely than in the later years. God didn't want us to grow old and die; so we will be returned to the "natural" way of things. But until that time, appreciate the older generations. While they may not know exactly how technicalities of the world are NOW, they definitely know what it was like before and can compare any successes or failures. (I say that because, while I definitely do NOT see eye to eye with my parents, I have to admit (just don't tell them I wrote this :-P hahaha) that they know what they're talking about a lot of the time. And if they don't, then they at least are a good place to go for an objective idea when I need it.)
All right. Well, I'm out for now. (Actually, I have another thought. But this one is long enough.) Toodles.