By Wayne Mason, Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice chaplain
At the beginning of 2016, I decided that I was going to start an exercise program, lose some weight, and do a better job of managing the body God has blessed me with. You know how those new year resolutions normally go, but this past year was different for me. I stuck it out. Not only that, but I learned something about how far an older body can go. Who says “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”?
In the process of following an exercise regimen and a healthier diet, I found my energy level rising, my balance improving, and my attitude more positive. I began to look forward to the exercise, because it helped me to manage my stress and look for new life in this old body of mine.
I have never been a person who backed away from my age. Ask me my age, and I will tell you. I figure the older I get, the more experience I have and, hopefully, the more wisdom I have to share. I believe life is getting better the older I get. Sure, I have some pain from arthritis, and I have to do things in a different way than I did when I was younger. But I also appreciate life more than I did when I was younger. I take time to actually look at the sunrises and the sunsets. Hugs and “I love you” are treasured and given a deeper value. Dessert is savored.
You know, being older isn’t so bad when you consider how much we appreciate the common, everyday events of life that we used to take for granted. I see what surrounds me now, I hear the music, and I like the touch of a hand in mine. Why did I wait until I was older to appreciate these things so much? To tell you the truth, I don’t want to be younger if it means giving up the value I now see in the people, places and things of life.
I am looking forward to 2017. I have no idea what I am going to learn or experience, but God has life lined up for me and I am going to step forward to embrace it. How about you? Are you ready for the challenges and the treasures of a new year?
Luke 5:39 – “And no one after drinking old wine wants the new, for they say, ‘The old is better.’”
Prayer: “LORD, help me to appreciate all the special gifts you have bestowed upon me. May I no longer take for granted each day I wake up, the conversations I have with others, and the relationships which deepen my life. May I awaken each day singing your praises and loving your people. Help me to see the value you continue to place in me. Amen.”