March 28

Written by Bill Grandi on March 28th, 2019

My title is Growing Old vs Getting Old.

There is a well-worn saying that stands the test of time:”There are two things which are certain-death and taxes.” No argument on that!! The rub is the part which usually precedes the death part: old age.

We have milestones in our lives. 21 signals “adulthood” (as if). 30 for a pastor was/is the magic age, i.e. a pastor is now old enough to show maturity, gain respect and to have been around the block a few times. 35-30 is supposed to be the pastor’s most productive years-something about youth and energy and learning. 🙂 40 is a tough age for some. 50 is even tougher because a sense of mortality is kicking in. 60 is seen as the start of the downhill slops. 65 is “retirement.” Beyond that? It’s anyone’s guess (largely because I’m not there yet).

I’ve made a few observations about getting older:

  1. The best laid plans often go down the tubes. Various reasons play into that. Health. Finances. Family. You can add to the list. Nest eggs often become broken yolks. Cancer, Alzheimer’s, or a myriad other diseases play havoc.
  2. Getting old is a reality best accepted. I have continued to stay active-cycling, working out at the Y-but I cannot deny the ravages of time on my stamina, strength, or joints. While better off than some my age, I am aware of Father Time’s creeping presence.
  3. Recovery takes a lot longer these days. I no longer recover as quickly after a workout-no matter the supplements or protein. I don’t recover as quickly from sickness. I do find myself becoming emotionally attached more easily and, therefore, I feel pain more deeply and longer. Maybe its an awareness of my own mortality. I don’t know.
  4. I think there are positives. I have become much more patient. I’ve been more willing to “ride things out” as opposed to “This is what I think. Deal with it.” I sense a deeper tenderness for hurting people around me. I sense more of a willingness to accept people as they are instead of being so stinking opinionated. I’m still against compromise but maybe “tough love acceptance” would be more accurate.

I realize much of this is subjective. But I don’t want to just get old; I was to grow old…gracefully… whimsically… wisely…graciously…Godly.

“Father, may my remaining days or years be ones of productivity for You. Continue your work in me until completion.”


8 Comments so far ↓

  1. Glynn says:

    When you reach a certain age, you begin to think about think about different things. Career matters far less. Family (and grandchildren) matter more. You become more attuned to beauty (like the beauty of art and music). You think about where you came from — what’s my genealogy? And you begin to sense the bigger picture and how you have been a very small part of it.

  2. Ryan S says:

    I can’t argue with your list…
    I have experienced the same in my 40’s. I second your prayer to be productive and that God continues his work in me!

  3. Pam says:

    You share many truths here Bill, as does Glynn—like you have been reading my mind! I have met some wonderful saints over the years—people full of wisdom and kindness and patience. I pray God will mold me like one of them.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      It would be interesting if all us “Old coots” could get together and write a book about our experiences Pam. I’m guessing it would funny as well as good life lessons. Your prayer is my prayer also.

  4. Lisa notes says:

    I want to grow old well too. But I know I can’t really prepare for all the million unexpected things that come our way. My friend spent the past 10 ten years carefully managing bladder cancer, then died in two months from a staph infection after a surgery. 🙁 Nonetheless you’re right that there are positives. I have to stay on the lookout for those and appreciate them.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Looks to me like you are doing just that Lisa. Grandkids tend to do that. 🙂 I read about your friend. I’m sorry for your loss her gain.