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Minister’s Message: How to grow old and not waste your life

At its core, the Bible speaks a great deal about the time allotted for one’s life

In reflecting on significant age-related milestones within my immediate family this past year, the term “growing old” has taken on new depth.

These events, most commonly known as birthdays, were the landmark ones like 50 and 80, prompting us to contemplate the passage of time and the ever-changing nature of our existence. Maybe the best term to describe these birthdays is the process called “growing old.”

The words “growing” and “old” can seem to be at odds with each other, but separately they both indicate a dynamic progression of being human.

At its core, the Bible speaks a great deal about the time allotted for one’s life. Ecclesiastes 3:2 declares there is a time for everything including “A time to be born and a time to die.”

But even if that seems obvious, we also learn how our “days are like a fleeting shadow” (Psalm 144:4b) and there is so much uncertainty: “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life?” (James 4:14).

While this outlook can lead to despair, God gives his creation guidance in discovering the best way to live. The main theme of the Bible is for humanity to respond to God’s love and to grow in a deep relationship with Him. The challenge then becomes for us to enter this relationship and let God’s love change us to the people he created us to be.

The Psalmist described this transformative process: “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). “Gaining a heart of wisdom” will allow us to experience the abundant life He desires for us by following His commandments, seeking His best, serving others, and trusting in His divine plan.

Even though growing old is a gift, we can also embrace the words Paul wrote to encourage the church people in Corinth: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16).

As we celebrate birthdays and embrace the process of “growing old,” may we find wisdom in acknowledging the passage of time and the opportunities it presents for spiritual growth. Let us allow God’s love to guide us, enabling us to live with purpose, joy, and fulfillment, learning how to grow old and not waste our life.

In this journey, may we be renewed daily by His transforming presence, embracing each moment with gratitude and openness to His divine plan.

Frank Alioto is the Pastor of Roots Family Church (907-252-0036) and serves as a chaplain in our community.

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