Being wise is better than being strong; yes, knowledge is more important than strength. Prov. 24:5, TEV.
Solomon implies in Proverbs 24:5 that becoming a senior citizen has some advantages; that the wisdom of age is more important than the strength of youth. Elsewhere he bemoans the passing of time: "So remember your Creator while you are still young, before those dismal days and years come when you will say, 'I don't enjoy life'" (Eccl. 12:1, TEV).
Not much has changed in 4,000 years! Many of my older patients see it as did the Solomon of Ecclesiastes 12. "Don't get old, Doc," they would tell me. "It's no fun." I would ask, "When does 'old' begin?"
How long your cells last is determined in part by your genes, but mainly by the choices you make: how you use your mind and treat your body, which in turn will affect your perception of how old you are.
In these days of "politically correct" language, words such as "handicapped" have been replaced by such expressions as "physically disadvantaged." It would seem appropriate to call "senior citizens" "chronologically advantaged"! How can you make that a reality?
When I was in medical school my only physical exercise was limited to summer vacations. My lack of fitness painfully became evident after I descended a mountain peak with a limp lasting several days. Finally I realized that it is important to exercise consistently. Gradually, with regular exercise, my knees have improved to where I can climb mountains with no pain whatsoever. My legs are now "younger" than they were 35 years ago!
Likewise, your mind must be used to keep it young. My mother, in her mid-80s, reads three hours or more a day and continues to teach a wonderfully inspirational Sabbath school lesson. She has taught me a profound lesson about brainpower: the most important aspect of being "chronologically advantaged" is the opportunity to delve more deeply into the Bible and its messages for us, and to share those insights with family, friends, and neighbors.
Solomon was right. "Remember your Creator," and the days of your youth may last well into your "chronologically advantaged" years!
What are you doing to grow "better" as you grow older?
Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.