April 5, 2020
“I have come to think that age cannot ultimately reduce a man, though it can inflict wounds, and cram pain into him, and feed him indignity, and rob him of those he loves, and finally kill him. But the mark of our maturity is how we carry our load….” Brian Doyle, Leaping
In aging it is easy to fall into looking backward, whether toward good memories or bad. It becomes easy to forget there is a present (I am) and with God’s grace, a future (I will be). And engaging in some of that backward looking, I note (Ecclesiastes 7:10) that we have been warned of this tendency for more than 2,000 years:
“Do not say ‘Why were the old days better than these?’ For it is not wise to ask such questions.”
I like Doyle’s approach to this – yes, bad things may happen to us along the way (so do good things) but “the mark of our maturity is how we carry our load.” I have had, have, some good mentors in that respect that have modeled what Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 4:16:
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”
I am reminded of what one of those mentors, Jim Mulford, would tell me late in his life – “Live in the gratitude lane.” So I am thankful today for that renewal, for those mentors, for the past, the present, and, because I am “being renewed day by day,” for the future.