Barzillai the Gileadite also came down from Rogelim to cross the Jordan with the king and to send him on his way from there. Now Barzillai was very old, eighty years of age. He had provided for the king during his stay in Mahanaim, for he was a very wealthy man. The king said to Barzillai, “Cross over with me and stay with me in Jerusalem, and I will provide for you.” – 2 Samuel 31-33 (Read 31-37).
Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. – 2 Timothy 4:8.
Aging – Compensations
Speaking with acquaintances at a party, Clare Boothe Luce averred that “old age has its compensations.” Then, giving Hollywood director George Cukor a pat on the arm, she cracked, “The trouble is, George, that you and I have forgotten what they are.”
Hardly true for her or anyone else reaching advanced years, especially when old people are consistently older than yesteryear. According to Blue Cross, gains in longevity offer a ten year grace period, meaning that old age now starts at seventy-five, not sixty-five years of age. People now participate actively in sports into their eighties and beyond.
Cicero wrote a beautiful treatise on aging when he was sixty-two. Cato referred to it when he was eighty-four. The treatise’s main defense is as adequate now as when written: Age does not necessarily render people unfit for work—or the body feeble or deprived of pleasures. Cicero claimed that only as a harbinger of death did advancing age pose an insoluble dilemma.
Anyone fifty plus can cheer the great orator. Christian seniors, especially, accept advancing years with expectation, for they moderate their longings for the things of this world and quicken their appreciation of spiritual graces. That spiritual anchor, long before thrown into Heaven to secure their soul, remains firmly intact. In undisguised eagerness they yearn to share God’s presence as they have for so long shouldered God’s purpose. They meet their future with eyes glistening and faces aglow.