Saturday, November 7, 2009

I Don't Want to Get Old!





I heard two elderly women's greetings last weekend and it was very sobering.  One of them had a bad hip and was waiting to get a replacement.  This was apparently common among their friends and simply a matter of time for each of them. The luckier ones were able to hold it off longer then others.  This particular woman was putting off the operation because she had learned that the recoup time was 5 weeks instead of the 3 she originally had thought. 

Not far from my home is a sign that boasts that it 'only does hips and knees'. It's an entire clinic devoted only to replacing hips and knees.

Is this what getting old in America has come to?  I really do think I have a positive view of growing old in general.  I have a lot of grey hairs and I have no desire to color them.  The Bible speaks highly of grey hairs.  Of course, not of the hairs themselves, but of the maturity and wisdom that comes with time and experience.

Proverbs 16:31 Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life.
Proverbs 20:29  The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.

I grew up being taught to respect and care for the elderly.   They have knowledge and wisdom from experiences that we never can have. And it is lost once they are gone.

But, caring for the elderly has become a full-time job.  It's no longer just bringing them some meals and keeping them company.  It's surgeries and medicine and round the clock care.  What has happened?  I don't want to grow old like that.  I want to work and be useful until the day I die.

I believe, maybe I hope, that nutrition is a HUGE part of that.  Our bodies are not fueled properly and start to break down early in life.  The average life span may be longer (although that is questionable) then it was 100 years ago, but the quality of life has gone way down.  Living on medication and pain killers is not living!  I don't want it.  Let me die young and strong rather then old, weak and useless. 

I want to 'want to' grow old. I want the wisdom that comes from knowing and loving God for a long time.  From reading Scripture daily for years and understanding things that can only be understood by someone who has experienced life.  I want to be the old woman who loves the little children and understands them and helps their parents to do the same.  Who sees a marriage on the rocks and can help guide the couple to the Scripture and how it deals with marriage and roles in that marriage.  I want to serve the Lord with all my heart, be a prayer warrior and a passionate old sprite for Him. But if I'm worried about the next surgery, or whether the government will continue to pay for my drugs necessary for life, or all my aches and pains and misery, I know I will be useless.  I don't want that!

I realize things happen that are out of our control.  But I find it hard to believe that growing old and needing to have half of our joints replaced is out of our control.   I do believe it's a long-term problem, without simple fixes.  But yet, I do believe there are answers.  And a lot of them lie in how we care for our body.  The choices I make today will grately affect my children's lives as they grow older, as well as my own. 

Dr. Price's studies found a definite correlation between quality/quantity of life and the foods the various tribes consumed.  Along with 'white man's food' came 'white man's diseases'.  Including growing older at a much faster rate. 

I want to finish the race well.  I want to sprint toward the end.  I wonder if that is possible...

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