Wisdom for the Seasons of Life: Aging and Retirement
Contributor: E. Taylor
Who knew love and loss could both be just as powerful as the other? The pain of both love and loss are rivals in the continuum of life. Love one another as God has loved us – words easier to verbalize, much harder to live. Love pierces not just the heart, but the fiber of a person, their essence, and soul. Love is seen manifested in their daily life – activities, interactions with others, thoughts, home, work, family, friendships, correspondence, and all communication.
Show and live love, live a life that exemplifies Christ, and that touches others. Wherever you go and whatever you do, let it be something that helps, supports, and blesses someone. Plant, grow and give out flowers while people can still smell them. Losing someone can be as life changing as loving them. How often do we continue to look for them, talk to them, replay their words and conversations, reach for them, search out their smile, seek their familiarity in others? How do we move forward without them, when our hearts burn, our beings ache, tears run, eyes cloud up? The older we get, the deeper the hurts, the harder the pain is to shake, the less time there is to waste on dislike, disdain, distress, denial.
Loss comes in all shapes and sizes – separation, divorce, death, unemployment, bankruptcy, sickness, moving residences, empty nests, foreclosure, depression, hopelessness. As we age, we have to muster the energy and hope to combat these losses, for our warfare is not against the flesh and blood embodiment of these things, but it is against the spiritual, the forces that are unseen and not visible to the physical eye.
Grow older gracefully using the wisdom God has granted each of us. We must learn to treasure others and moments, make memories, live each day as if it really is our last day here on this earth. It is so easy to get caught up in the past hurts and traumas and to continue carrying them with us daily as if they are brand new occurrences. Lay aside these heavy weights and past hurts as if they are literally hot potatoes. Move forward; smile and make someone else smile; laugh and make someone else laugh. Do what makes you and others happy. Share your heart and your thoughts with others, tell them you love them, share how they make you happy.
Life is too short, too precious not to take some time to smell the flowers or to give some to others while they can still smell them. Lee Ann Womack sang these words in the song “I Hope You Dance”: “I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance; never settle for the path of least resistance; living might mean taking chances, but they’re worth taking; loving might be a mistake, but it’s worth making…And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.” Live. Love. Never stop dancing.