Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Some days I feel my age more than others. I've noticed that I avoid having to bend over and pick things up off the floor. And I prefer the kind of shoes that you just slide your feet into, without having to pull them on. And lately, it seems I need my glasses for more and more things. And I don't like it. I don't like the fact that I am "middle aged". I want to shout "wait a minute! I'm too young to be old! I'm just starting to figure things out! If I'd realized I would get old this fast, I would have appreciated being young more!" It just doesn't seem fair, somehow. The first 40 years of my life seemed to go pretty slowly. But lately, time is just flying by.
Since I've turned 50 (a few years ago, now), I've noticed my physical appearance "changing" at an alarming rate. It's like my body has said, "ok, now it's time to show my age". I see people that I went to school with and think "boy, have they ever aged!" Then I realize they are likely thinking the same thing about me. Let me repeat, I don't like it.
But what I like even less is the fact that I am bothered by it. Because I hate how society has made us believe that getting older is less than desireable. Or should I say that LOOKING older is bad. It's ok to be 60, so long as you can pass for 49. Hollywood wants us to believe that the older we are, the less attractive we become. Wrinkles are to be avoided at all costs, and why on earth would you let your hair go gray? Don't you know you can take years off of your appearance with a bit of hair color now and then?
We are so taken up with outward appearance, so fixated on staying "youthful" looking. We look upon aging as the worst possible "disease", and spend millions of dollars on trying to make these old bodies carry on just a little longer.
There's nothing wrong with wanting to be healthy and productive for as long as we can. But why do we have to be phobic about aging? It is a natural process, and one that we cannot avoid. For those of us who have received the gift of eternal life, the thought of getting old and dying shouldn't fill us with dread. Rather, we should look upon each passing day as one step closer to making the transition to our eternal home, where we will put on immortality. We can't have it here, in these bodies. But we will have it one day. And it will be a million times more wonderful than having smooth skin or a perfect figure.
"Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." (2 Cor. 4:16-18)
Saturday, March 27, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Society today is having a love affair with polls, popular opinion, and surveys. Reality television programs vote contestants off of islands, out of houses, even out of jobs. Amateur entertainers hold their breath as a panel of judges decides the fate of their dreams of stardom. Candidates in every level of government vie to top their opponents in pre-election polls, and then in the final count on Election Day.
From the least important (which do you prefer; the taste of the “new” so and so Cola or the old one?), to those which touch on controversial moral issues (are you for or against assisted suicide?) we are surveyed for our opinion. Often I have wondered what makes us think that our opinions should matter in the case of those issues that deal with life and death, like capital punishment and abortion. Surely these controversies are too important to be left to popular opinion to be decided, even though they can be impacted by the voting population.
I once read a newspaper article that mentioned an online poll by the United Church of Canada. The intention of the poll was to pit believers in God against non believers, in a vote to determine the general consensus regarding the existence of God. At the end of a week, the results were: “Yes there is God – 52%, No there isn’t God – 48%.” At first, this struck me as humorous. I thought to myself, How silly. You can’t change a truth by voting it out.
However, as I thought further about it I began to see it as more of an indicator of the level of rebellion that is within man’s heart. I realize that many people won’t agree with me, but as a person who believes absolutely in the existence of the God of the Bible, I see only total audacity and foolishness in the whole exercise. I certainly hope that those who are on the precipice of belief or non-belief do not take general consensus as their guiding rule in deciding on this most important question. Instead, they can open the book that He has authored, where He goes into great detail about Himself, and our relationship with Him. That book is a far more accurate indicator than popular opinion could ever be.
“The fool has said in his heart ‘There is no God.’” (Psalm 14:1, NASB)