The Truth About Aging
When it comes down to it, our lives are little more than a collection of big habits made up of little ones. Many of those habits — such as going to the grocery store first thing on Saturday morning — are relatively innocuous. Our habit of adding $100 per month to our savings account is a good habit. Our habit of plopping down on the couch and munching on chips while watching Netflix until it’s time for bed may be fairly entertaining, but it’s not doing our health any favors.
It’s been said that a person reaps what they sow (Galatians 6:7). While there are few of us that have first-hand experience farming, even us city-slickers know that when a seed is planted, it takes time before the harvest can be reaped. In the same way, the effect of our habits — good or bad — may not be readily apparent, but they will be revealed in our life more and more over time.
But life plays an awful trick on us. When we are young, we seem to get away with many of our bad habits. A bad diet gets erased by a fast metabolism, or a night of heavy drinking isn’t always punished with a hangover. But as we get older, we find that those bad habits come with an ever increasing cost. All the debt we’ve accumulated over the course of our lives sometimes comes due all at once.
In many ways, aging is not about growing old. It is about all of our habits catching up with us.
As time goes on, the natural consequences of our habits become more evident… and more inescapable. Our bad diet begins to show in the mirror. Then in the doctor’s office. Perhaps our temper finally costs us a relationship we can’t replace, or our impulsive shopping progresses until we have all of the things we want but none of the things we need. The only things that will survive the crucible of time are the hard things that we often strive to avoid.
Aging isn’t merely about the accumulation of years, it’s about accumulating all that we’ve sown over the course of our lives.
With age, our good habits become less obscure and our bad ones become less forgiving.
As it turns out, nothing separates the wheat from the chaff in our lives like Father Time. Time will whisper our deeds in the morning, but shout them in the evening. Be sure that your habits will make you proud of what time reveals.