Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength. Betty Friedan

Meditation: There are two main myths in our society: One is that aging is a curse or an illness that needs to be prevented or cured at any cost. The other is that aging brings inevitable losses that we need to fear and therefore better enjoy our youth to the fullest. Both myths are fueling and maintaining major sectors of our Youth driven economy. The first myth sees aging as an enemy that one has to fight, the other resigns to aging as a form of depression waiting to set in. The counter cultural invitation of our Christian faith is to develop a new relationship with aging itself. If we don’t fight it and don’t dread it, aging becomes a journey that includes both losses and opportunities. When we look for the kind of strength we gain in this phase of life, we might be surprised. Physical strength is not everything. Strength as we age might mean becoming more mindful and living with deeper gratitude. It might mean appreciating the small yet meaningful encounters we have every day. Strength as we age might mean contributing our wisdom and passions to those around us in new ways. Living to the fullest is possible no matter our age.

Prayer: Gracious God, we bring to you our fear and dread of aging. We ask You to help us to become free from our cultural myths that first intentionally increase and then also exploit our fears. Help us develop courage and new hope when it comes to our own aging. Give us wisdom to choose and foster fruitful and life giving relationships. Teach us mindful ways of living as we are entering the later years of our life. Amen

They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green. Psalm 92:14

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