"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." ~ 2 Corinthians 4: 16-18
One of the most difficult things I have experienced in my life was watching my great grandparents and grandparents grow old and die.
In my eyes they were all great people who loved others, laughed, and even as they aged they continued to serve as amazing mentors.
My grandfather when he struggled with Parkinson's would remark about the tremors in his hand, "but I can make an amazing milkshake."
My great grandmother after seventy plus years of marriage to my great grandfather told me, "Don't hate. It takes up too much of the time of life that you could be loving life."
After Dr. King's murder one of my grandfather's shared "What one generation will accept, the next will embrace. Be bold in what you do."
The fact that we all at some point will enter the chapter in our life where we decline and then die is a journey we began the moment our lungs reached out to take that first breath of life. For some life has been filled with many turns, and for some, a course so well planned out there have been few surprises.
For all of us, each day is new. Although we cannot stop the progress of time, nor the progressive pace of time on our bodies, the renewal of our relationship with God can and does occur each day.
I miss my family whom I was blessed to know and who loved me so dearly, but watching them live their faith in such fresh ways, even until they drew that final breath makes my own journey easier.
I guess that's why I'm okay with growing older, including all that comes with this condition. I want the next generations to see that life lived in faith can and does make it all worth while, and that's what really determines your quality of life.
Stay in God's Grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.