I have learned a lot looking at how older people handle life. Sometimes from their good example, and sometimes from their bad example. Unfortunately getting old or being old doesn’t magically make you a good person. You don’t suddenly develop good habits and good character traits when you pass 65 or 70 years of age. Someone I know was so shocked when he heard of a resident of the local old age home who has a problem with alcohol. His response was, “But they’re old! They should have left that stuff long ago.” Old age doesn’t make you a good person. I always tell my husband that we should be very nice to people now, because if we’re old and become cranky, then they will be able to excuse our behavior. If we are rude or grumpy now and still that way when we’re old, we won’t have an excuse!
I want to be a lovable, sweet-natured old lady who is a pleasure to be around. I don’t want to be a bad tempered, judgmental old bat who nobody wants to be near. The problem isn’t that you were born with a miserable personality, that you had a terrible childhood, that someone abused you or that the universe in general is doing its best to undermine you. The problem is the choices you make. Every day each one of us has multiple choices put before him or her. It’s like one of those question papers where you have to choose the right answers. You don’t even have to think up a response, you just have to choose. Someone once said that the choice shouldn’t be between good and bad, it should be between better and best. Myles Munroe said, “You must decide if you are going to rob the world or bless it with the rich, valuable, potent untapped resources locked away within you.” He also said, ”The past is the past. Who or what we used to be doesn’t matter anymore. What matters is who and what we are now and who and what we can become in the future.”
Do we want past hurts to continue haunting us throughout our lives, or do we want to choose to forgive? Is it worth dragging regrets along with us? We can drop them and embark on a wonderful and exciting new journey. We are never too old to start something new. Moses was 80 when God called him to lead the Jews out of Egypt. In fact, the Bible is full of old people doing amazing things! Sarah had a baby when she was 90. Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist birthed him after she was “well advanced in years.” If they could do all those amazing things at their age, why can’t we be healed at any age? When we look back at everything we’ve been through there is always more than one time that God did a miracle for us, even though we possibly couldn’t see it at the time. Jeremiah 3:22, “Return, you backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings.” Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed.”
The thing is, Jesus wants to heal us. That is what He came to earth for, but more than healing our bodies he wants to heal our souls. We need to be completely whole so that we can worship the Lord in Spirit and truth. We need to be whole so that we can love. The song ‘When all is said and done, says,
“When it’s all been said and done
All my treasures will mean nothing
Only what I have done for love’s rewards
Will stand the test of time.
I will always sing your praise
Here on earth and heaven after
For you’ve joined me at my true home
When it’s all been said and done
You’re my life when life is gone.”
Jesus is what really matters, and He wants us whole and functional and productive. He wants us to do what He did when He was on earth.