getting older as spiritual practice


... the process of aging can seem like it runs counter to the false gospels of smooth skin, toned muscles; and young-looking faces. At least, the cultural televangelists of the latest exercise equipment and nutritional / skin-care supplements would have you believe it is a sin to show any sign of getting older on the external facade of your soul.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Proper nutrition, regular exercise, and taking care of your physical self in general are, indeed, positive practices.  Healthy living can faithfully enhance your ability to fulfill your life’s calling. 

But getting older is not a curse, nor a sin. Physical frailty is not necessarily a sign that you’ve done anything wrong. Death is no failure of human virtue.

Perhaps it is time to stand up to the false gods that extol physicality over Spirit. It is time to celebrate the gifts of wisdom, insight, and more that only come with years of experience. It is time to claim that death is a part of our living, perhaps even a portion of God’s grace for us. The concern, then, is not whether we die, but how we choose to move faithfully toward that eventual part of our living.

As you age, how might a more-intentional lifestyle open up transformational possibility for your spiritual journey, personally and publicly? When you retire, how might the bounty of your older age be used as a spiritual gift to others who need mentors, guides, sages?

How might your own frailty, infirmity, and/or physical limitation become fertile ground in which to develop compassion for others?

The inescapable act of getting older, may just be the kind of blessing we need as we each move toward the vale that separates this world from the fullest mystery of God’s love for us, each and every one.


In a culture that values health and beauty ....