Okay, I will confess. I am struggling with this aging thing. I didn’t know how much being “youthful” meant to me I guess. I am amazed how often (when I picture myself or think of how I appear to others) I have a negative feeling and view of myself. It is really sad how our culture has brainwashed us to place so much more value on being youthful than on being mature. Not all cultures do that! In fact, at times in the past and in other cultures, more value is placed on being more mature or even on the aged. In our culture, the more “aged” you are, the less value you seem to have. I will soon (very soon) be 54. When I look in the mirror, I see the wrinkles, the “sagging neck” thing, the grey hair (except when I color it and fool myself for awhile) and I think “what happened” (don’t get me started on my hands!). The truth is (and everyone over 40 realizes this) we are the same inside at 20 as we are at 40, 50, 70, 80. Oh, our knowledge and experiences change and hopefully we are wiser at 70 than at 20. But our essential being, the essence of who we are is the same . So, why do I think my value has lessened because of the outward signs of aging? Why do I think others would value me more if I was “youthful looking”? I have just listened too much to the lies and deceit of a society where we are bombarded by images of youth and beauty in ads, magazines, TV, movies and all of these keep telling us that we need to avoid aging at all costs. Why? Will that increase our years on earth? Will that make us better human beings? Would looking more youthful cause me to be a more productive person? No, to all of these. Would looking youthful cause my family to love me more? No. There might be some in the world who would value me more but they wouldn’t be loving me (who I am) they would just be joining in the worship of youth.
I want to ask God to help me to stop listening to and believing the lies about what makes us have value. My value comes from my heavenly Father who made me, my Savior Jesus Christ who died for me and the Holy Spirit who lives in me. This outward body is fading away but my spirit will never die. True beauty, true value comes from the light within not from the outward appearance. I release this into His hands. I will find joy in being 54. I thank Him for giving me these years and all the years to come.