In a recent conversation that I shared, someone confided in me that he dreaded the thought of growing old. As I thought about his comment, a part of me found it entirely reasonable that he should feel this way. The passing years, after all, do bring a decline in physical strength and endurance, as well as in the enthusiasms and idealism of youth. The fact remains, however, that older people also have advantages that the young cannot enjoy. I think that many would share in my conviction that the older years can be the most fulfilling of all.

I, for one, do not have any particular sense of fear at the thought that I am slowly growing old. In fact, I have come to revel in my years. I feel that they have enriched me. If God were to ask me if I would like to begin all over again, I think that in all honesty, I would experience a sense of great hesitation. I don't think that I would be willing to easily exchange the peace of mind, the measure of wisdom and maturity, the compassion and understanding, and the perspectives and priorities that I have gained from both the joyful and the sorrowful experiences of my life. I have the conviction that the years to come shall, in fact, be the best years-the sweetest and the most free of anxious care. My "outward" man is indeed slowly perishing, but my "inward" man is being made better day by day.

Let us, therefore, bear in mind that we are all growing older, no matter what our age. No matter where we are in life, let us strive to honor God and rejoice in all the good things that are ours. In this way, when we reach that golden plateau, we too will find it to be the best age, and it will be said of us, as the psalmist observed, that we "shall still bear fruit in old age." (Ps. 92:14)