The Art of Aging Gracefully

August 30, 2016

When I saw the topic for this month’s article I immediately thought, what do I know about “Senior Citizens?” Then I remembered, I am one. But rather than fill the page with my personal thoughts and the opinion of those I’ve never met, I decided to enlist the aid of the Fellowship family. Below are the responses I received.

“Seriously, growing older means thinking of myself as the oak tree analogy that you have probably heard about. The key is within the roots – strength, determination, character, faith, compassion and all of those values that Mom, Dad and the community instilled in us. The strength of these roots ground me. The trunk of the tree represents all the good and ‘stupid’ stuff I did/am doing as I look to the leaves at the top of the tree. Those leaves are swaying and looking to the sky and saying there are no limits to what I can do because I reach to the sky and to God’s divine intervention to direct me to do his will.”

“I don’t seek it through another because I have it within; it’s a state of mind, a spirit that is free, and a mind that is playful.”

“Aging gracefully encompasses three essential elements. One must obviously have an adequate portion of good health. This gives one the ability to still accomplish things that require energy, vigor, and body flexibility to get to some of those “bucket list” items! It also means having the mental health to envision the “enjoyment of the good life” – meaning possessing the positive attitude that believes “life isn’t ALMOST over” and God still has important things for me to accomplish! Finally aging gracefully means that you have the financial fortitude to enjoy the first two for a full fledge “golden years of paradise!”

“Aging gracefully” means to me – Living your life with a joy and peace that you’re not in control of each second or moment in time – God is!”

“I guess I look at aging gracefully as accepting change and embracing the things that we cannot change.”

“Aging gracefully means that you mature and age in a manner that God desires. Meaning that you continually grow in biblical knowledge, wisdom, and consistently exhibit the fruit of the Spirit in your life.”

“I believe that to age gracefully, one would first need to embrace the fact that aging is a blessing, and look at it in a positive manner. Focus on taking time to enjoy family and friends, and doing some of the things that you enjoy but never found time to do earlier in life. Continue to trust God during your later years in life, and take time to engage in volunteer services and engage in activities that would support a healthy lifestyle, i.e. healthy eating habits and regular exercise.”

“Aging gracefully means we have lived long enough to appreciate living. We’ve not mastered the art of living, but we’re a step closer each day because of God’s continuous and unmerited favor. Aging gracefully means accepting the physical reminders — wrinkles, extra pounds, blurry vision, aches and pains — that come with so many revolutions around the sun. But the plus side is the wisdom we’ve gained from learning from our mistakes, and the mistakes of others that help us walk just a little closer with Jesus. We learn the value of true friendship, know the meaning of unconditional love, and learn not to sweat the small stuff, because everything is small stuff. Aging gracefully means we realize that God has allowed us another opportunity to see a sunrise, hug our loved ones, tell our friends how much they mean to us, and yes, smell the flowers along the way.”

“I define Aging Gracefully as being able to perform as expected without bringing attention to one’s age. Also, keeping your “Gig Line” straight. One of the first things a young recruit is taught is to keep the “gig line” straight. For non-military people – the “gig line” is the alignment of the shirt, belt and pants in a straight line. From a spiritual stand point, once the “gig line” is straight, a miniature cross is formed. Keeping my “gig line” straight means my life is in alignment with God and my fellow man which forms a “CROSS” and means I am aging gracefully.”

“Maturing adults. The Golden years. God’s favoring years.”

“To me, aging gracefully means one who sees age as a blessing. When things need repairing, it gets done! Age is just a number which comes with time and I cherish every year I am blessed to celebrate another birthday.”

“’Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness.’ Proverbs 16:31. Here is my opinion of growing old gracefully: It is when you have a close relationship with God and view every hour, every day, every month, and every year as a gift from God.”

“I feel aging gracefully is being able to enjoy your golden years without having to worry about finances and health issues. Being able to just enjoy life, your family, grandchildren and children. Taking trips, cruises, etc. Above all being able to worship Jesus as your Lord and Savior.”

“Aging gracefully means retirement, spending quality time with family and friends, having more time to serve the Lord and just enjoying life to the fullest.”

“To me it is the attitude people have as they go through the various stages of life. What is that old adage ‘age is nothing but a number?’ Also it means to be grounded in regards to your spiritual life i.e. abiding in Jesus. And finally it means eating right, exercising and taking care of yourself to look and feel your best.”

“In my earlier 30s I made the bold statement that I would grow old gracefully. By the time I had gotten to my 50s, after battling cancer twice, I decided to heck with that. To fight the battle with aging I have adopted a healthier life style by changing my diet and incorporating a regular exercise plan. The payoff has been I feel better & most important to me, at 60 I am blessed in that I don’t have any health issues.”

“Being able to wake up every day without someone having to assist me. Going through the day without any new aches or pain. Most importantly not looking old but still looking and feeling youthful.”

“My thoughts on aging gracefully is accepting that I am getting older but still enjoy life. When I can stop worrying and complaining about everything and enjoy family, friends and especially my grandchildren. Doing things that puts a smile on my face and others.”

I have surmised from the various responses that aging gracefully requires the same mindset and effort that living a prosperous youth requires, i.e. positive attitude, proper diet, regular exercise, fellowship with family and friends and above all a value system that is based on an intimate relationship with Jesus. Maybe it’s the same because the aging process begins the moment we are born. The stages in life are difference – youth, young adult, middle age, senior citizen – but the bridge that carries us from one stage to the next is the same.

“I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” Psalm 37:25



Written by Henry Hopson and the FBBC Senior Saints