Today I ease gracefully into my 60th year. So what are the life lessons of ageing? I'm not sure I'm the best person to judge, so I bring you some thoughts from two sources. Today from a study which Tony Campolo cites and tomorrow I'll bring some thoughts from John Stott who gave a lovely talk at Redeemer some years ago, Reflections of an Octogenarian.
Tony Campolo quotes from a study conducted amongst 50 people over the age of 95 years. They were asked what they would do differently if they had life to live over again. Their answers focused on three areas,
1. They would risk more.
2. They would reflect more.
3. They would do more things that would live on after they were dead.
It's got me thinking. In many ways all three are quite counter-cultural. We live in a largely risk averse society, which seldom has time to 'stop and stare', and which focuses on consumption and quick fixes, and thinks little of the environmental and global consequences.
As a Christian I am a follower of Jesus Christ. He is a model of risk taking, not of the bungee jumping variety, but as someone who challenged taboos and reached out to 'untouchables', his life is an inspiration. Often in the gospels he is noted to withdraw, to pray and speak with God his Father. He seems to have a perfect blend of action and reflection. And leaving a legacy? Yea, a huge and remarkable one. Through his dying and rising I have a life lived at peace with God and myself, which brightens my days and gives me great hope beyond the grave.
Visiting my mum and dad's gave last week on what would have been mum's 86th birthday it was lovely to read the words at the base of the gravestone, taken from the book of Common Prayer, 'In sure and certain hope of the resurrection'.
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