Friday, November 30, 2007

Society's View of Aging Well

I read this on MSN News the other night and it caught my attention:

"My first glimpse of the inevitable came when I noticed my favorite shimmery blush creasing above my cheekbone. It was around my birthday (I had just turned 28) when the changes started: I soon began to see the freckles across my face as irreversible sun damage, the crinkles around my eyes as permanent — not just a side effect of smiling....I'm not even 30, but I already feel I'm going downhill."

And of course the further I read I was sure that the article would provide some sort of tip on how to keep oneself looking young. That's what the world does. It tries to preserve something that is ultimately unpreservable.

I am 30 years old and I already see signs of aging and though inwardly I feel like I am still 18 years old, I know outwardly that I am not. I saw the first signs a couple of years ago, at 28 years old. I was in a supermarket, in California, and the box boy at the check out line smiled kindly and said, "Thank you Ma'am." I had never been called ma'am before! I thought maybe he was just being kind, but I was only deceiving myself because "ma'am" is not the normal California lingo. You see, here in Texas it is an honorable thing to be called "ma'am" no matter what age you are. It is done out of respect. But in California people address someone as "ma'am" when they are beginning to look like one...or at least that is how I see it. :-)

Many women are drawn to tips on how to look younger but we must face the truth that one day we will not be as beautiful as we once were, no matter how much we try to do to preserve ourselves. That's why we, as women, need to cling to the word of God and meditate on His truth. This is the only cure for aging well! I am reminded about Proverbs 31:30 which says "Charm is deceitful and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised."

I am currently reading a book called "Heaven" by Randy Alcorn, the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries and paused at the spot where he says:

"Our resurrection bodies will be free of the curse of sin, redeemed, and restored to their original beauty ... the only bodies we've ever known are weak and diseased remnants of the original bodies God made for humans...I expect our bodies will be good-looking...but God will decide what our perfect bodies look like...Of this we can be certain--no matter what we look like, our bodies will please the Lord, ourselves, and others. We won't gaze into the mirror wishing for a different nose or different cheeks, ears, or teeth. The sinless beauty of the inner person will overflow into the beauty of the outer person."

Society's view of aging well is temporal and focused on the physical appearance but God's cure for aging well is eternal. We must fix our hearts on the fact that Christ has redeemed us, those that are believers, from the curse and focus our eyes on the Word of God which will never fail us.

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