When I was a little girl, I thought my grandparents, parents and other older people were practically another species. I didn't comprehend that someday I too would get old and infirm . . . and in pain and forgetful and hard of hearing and in need of glasses to barely be able to see well enough to drive and function.
Have you ever wondered why we get old? Why did God make us so that we get old and sick and so helpless? It's by design that we die once. The world is in a state of decay and aging, so it makes sense that we too would age and start to wind down—we are born into time, unlike God, who dwells in eternity.
But why did God make us this way?
When we're young, we think we are invincible and each year feels a decade long, so we think we have forever to get things done—to get an education, have children and raise them, get that perfect job and that perfect house and finally someday get right with God.
That is, if we're blessed we get to grow old. But we can't count on having that privilege. So what can we learn and teach from getting old?
1) This life is really very short, so whatever you're going to do, you'd better get busy and do it.
2) Get right with God early because you may get old but have your life so messed up you can't recover from all the mistakes you've made in this lifetime.
3) Look at how helpless someone old and infirm is and realize you are probably going to be there someday, so what do you want your legacy to be? That you could hold your liquor? That you had multiple mates or lovers? That you were a bad example for your children or were an absent parent? Maybe that you were really good at some video game or saw lots of movies or made lots of money, but neglected the people who depended on you and loved you the most? Maybe that you stayed so depressed and fearful that you never really accomplished anything?
4) Your youth is when you need to think about your legacy. When you're old it may be too late to change the consequences of how you've chosen to live.
I wonder if God designed us to get old and helpless so we'd more fully realize (if we are wise) that we have really been helpless all along—helpless to give ourselves life, helpless to save ourselves from death, helpless to bring ourselves back from death, helpless to save ourselves from our sins.
Talk to people who've made really bad choices and now regret them. Listen while you're young—or not so young. Realize that old age and death do await you. You're not different from the rest of humanity.
Time will pass, and your generation will be the elderly people. If you haven't planned, you'll wonder where the time went and want it back. So plan your legacy. Plan to commit to God. Plan to obey Him now for your own good and because He's the only one who ever gave his only begotten Son to die for your sins.
Let it be said of you when the people gather for your funeral that this person loved God and now awaits a resurrection of the just.