So many of us dread getting older. We live in a society that prizes youth and disregards the aging population. We want to feel young forever and avoid the inevitable suffering that can come with aging.
It’s only in modern times that we have devalued our older population. Up until recently, the elderly were a valued group of people for the wisdom and experience they could pass on to younger generations– and this is still the case in many other cultures.
What if instead of looking at all the negatives of getting older, we began to focus on the positives in celebration? Let’s begin to shift the cultural narrative and celebrate getting older again. There are so many benefits that come with aging– here are just a few:
Getting to Know Yourself
When you’re young, you make so many mistakes and often experience so much heartbreak– simply because you don’t know yourself well enough yet and aren’t able to make decisions aligned with who you truly are. As you get older with more life under your belt, you will begin to develop a better understanding of yourself, which makes life so much more enjoyable.
Knowing yourself means knowing your preferences, giftings, strengths, weaknesses, and so much more. It means you are able to make good decisions that enrich your life, instead of floundering around. And this can only come with age.
While there is a certain excitement and adventure that comes with youth, it is nothing compared to the settled assurance of knowing who you are in your later years.
Developing Wisdom and Character
Along with getting to know yourself better, another huge benefit of aging is gaining wisdom and character. If you are devoted to the Lord and following His ways, you will become wiser as you age.
This is perhaps where the cultural narrative is completely flipped from the biblical one. Culture touts endless youth as the ultimate goal, whereas becoming more like God and developing His character is the goal that God has for us– and this can only happen over the span of a lifetime. We get better as we get older, not worse.
This is a cause for great hope and joy. We can actually look forward to getting older because we know we are being shaped more and more into His image as we continue to seek Him. We will become more of a light to others and experience more of God Himself.
Stepping into New Roles and Shaping Younger Generations
With age comes opportunities that were unavailable to us in our youth. These roles can include becoming a youth ministry leader, mother, grandmother, mentor…etc. There are so many new roles to fill as we become older and more mature.
With the opportunity to step into new roles comes the great privilege of mentoring those younger than us. If you are a mother, you know the powerful influence you have on your children. They have been entrusted to you to steward and disciple– and this is no small feat.
Even if you are not a mother, there are countless opportunities for you to mentor the younger generation. Churches are always in need of wise people to help guide their youth. This is God’s design– for the older and wiser among us to shepard the younger.
Finding Your Purpose
As we walk through life and experience trials and joys, our purpose will become clearer and clearer. God can use all of our experiences, both good and bad, for His glory. Suffering often reveals our purpose more clearly than other experiences.
Just as it takes a lifetime to develop wisdom and character, so it can take a long time to see what our purpose in life is, as it is developed over decades of learning and growing. Of course our ultimate purpose is to know and love God, but as we go through specific experiences, particularly suffering, our specific, God-given purpose will be made clear.
Our purpose, or calling, also changes in different seasons. For example, maybe when you were younger you were called to have a thriving career, but now you are a stay at home mom. Or maybe you were a stay at home mom, and now you are in a season of furthering your career, starting your own business, or ministry.
Whatever season of life you are in, you will find that there is a common thread to the work you love to do and what makes your soul come alive– and this is what God created you for. It may take until the end of your life to actually do the work you love, but that is all part of the journey of living out your calling.
At Florecer we want to encourage you to celebrate every year you live, notice your growth, and impact the younger generation with your wisdom and gifts. If you are feeling stuck in any area of your life and need support, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!