I remember hearing my Granny say, “I knew I would get old, but I never thought I would feel old.” I can see her now… staring out the window with sadness creeping through her wrinkles. I had no idea what she was talking about…
… I do Now.
An older woman at the grocery this week barricaded the aisle with her cart while she handled every item on the the clearance shelves. I mean, she literally blocked the aisle with her buggy horizontally in place. From her back side, she looked much like Tom’s mother in her 80s, so I took the time to think on Grandma’s sweet memory. I waited… and waited. A few moments passed. “Excuse me, please.” Not a budge. I will be an old lady one day, so I will be really kind. Perhaps she can’t even hear.
After some time, she placed one small item in her cart. When she saw me, she grinned, “Oh, I didn’t see you.” To laugh or cry… I wasn’t sure. I was probably older than she. Or close.
I don’t think old; I don’t feel old, but you know, I may be getting there.
One Christmas, Tom surprised me with two rocking chairs with big red bows and a note promising, “Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.” We had been married about ten years, so this was a perfect Christmas morning joy.
Growing old? Not us. We only expected life would be beautiful forever. ‘Old’ surely was very far away. In the Now, it has arrived.
We have all thought and hoped the opening words to this poem of Robert Browning, Rabbi Ben Ezra (1864) speak of a romantic love. Not so. Browning wrote this three years after the death of his beloved Elizabeth. Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be. My philosophical explanation of these words speak of trust… don’t be afraid of what comes. Experience what age brings in the Now. All those years of younger days… growing, living, loving, forgiving, accepting, crying… are preparing each of us for the future… for the growing old. We cannot accept today without appreciating yesterday’s lessons.
For sure, it is an added joy and gift to grow old with the one you love. I cannot imagine doing this ‘old thing’ without Tom’s strength and commitment. But there is no promise of all things good and best ahead in the physical arena.
The next stanza of the poem gives the answer of why the best is yet to be… it is the last of life for which the first was made. What if we remained a youth? Life is a journey… from youth to old age. We are like homing pigeons . Remember Walter? https://ajourneytonow.me/2020/09/18/found-a-new-home/
We are destined for eternity, the last of life, created from the first to find the best.
Some days, I don’t do well in embracing the days of Now in preparation for tomorrow. What about you? Only as we “find rest in God alone,” (Psalm 62:1) and learn to trust His heart when going through the pains of today, can we grow old discovering the best for tomorrow.
“Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?” Job 12:12
Recently I was desperate to understand how to grow into this next phase of life. Each one of us is growing older… everyday. No matter your age today, perhaps you want to ponder how you want to find the best.
… growing old… with you.
If you have a copy of my book, Whispers on the Journey, a practical guide using the ABCs in prayer and praise, you know I walk, talk and sleep with them. This is available on Amazon.com… I would love for you to order a copy. So follows my ABC list in the way I want to grow old:
Father, I don’t want to grow old; I don’t know how. For some reason, this day, I am saddened at the thought of growing up… and older. I’ve never been here before. Show me, Abba Father…
With your help, I want to age…
Awakened to the moments of today Psalm 119:32
Balanced in body, soul and spirit I Thessalonians 5:23 Beautifully….
Confident and Contented Philippians 1:6
Dancing Psalm 30:11,12
Focused Philippians 2:5
Humbly I Peter 5:6
Joyfully James 1:2
always in Kindness Hebrews 12:14
Listening Isaiah 50:4b
Mentoring Titus 2:3-5 Making Memories
Never, never forgetting You will not let me go Hebrews 13:5
Obedient John 14:15
Prepared and living Purposely
Questioning the hard thing… Quiet in the answers
Remembering Ecclesiastes 12:1
Secure in who I am Singing Psalm 89:1
Trusting your heart Teachable Psalm 25:4,5
Unafraid Psalm 27:3
X-claiming joy in today
Yearning for today… heaven tomorrow! Philippians 1:23,24
Zealous for Now
“Since my youth, O God, You have taught me and to this day, I declare Your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare Your power to the next generation, Your might to all who are to come.” Psalm 71:18