“Old age on a good day is a dance we don’t know the steps to.” Anne Lamott. Grace (Eventually)
I’ve arrived at that age where friends don’t tell me about an eyelash on my cheek for fear that black hair might be growing there. When a child invites me to play on the floor, I have to give serious thought to getting back up again. I once slapped meals together while talking on the phone, listening to the radio, correcting homework and planning a weekend trip all at once. I’m now challenged to recall why I went out to the garage freezer.
It would be easy to get depressed when my granddaughter squeezes the skin hanging from my upper arms and says, “You’re squishy, Grammi.” I could be frustrated that it takes a series of movements to straighten up after sitting in a chair for a while. And I’d love to blame my doctor when all the aches and pains that limit my activities are written off as arthritis.
As I remind my mother when she moans about her loss of mental faculties, old age is not for sissies.
But if, as the Psalmist says in Psalm 139, I am fearfully and wonderfully made, what’s the deal with the mechanism wearing out and running down? Why don’t my efforts at exercise, nutrition, brain teasers and prayer lead to a physically and mentally robust life?
After decades of working to get better, stronger, wiser (and many times, struggling to get leaner) is this all there is?
A look at the clouds billowing upward in the afternoon heat reminds me that this certainly is not all there is. If it’s all about me, how I feel and what I can do, then I’ve seriously limited my perspective, and my future.
This failing body and memory are daily reminders that my home is not in this world, my hope is in the Lord and my greatest longing is for relationship with him.
I have asked the Lord for one thing; one thing only do I want: to live in the Lord’s house all my life, to marvel there at his goodness, and to ask for his guidance. Psalm 27:4 GNTD
Isn’t life here a kind of proving ground? A chance to see what is in our hearts, and what, and who, we will trust?