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Must find way to look forward with hope

by Howard Coop

Did anyone ever ask you, “How old are you?” That’s a fairly common question, isn’t it?

I’ve been asked that question many times. I remember being asked it some time ago, and in jest, I replied, “I don’t know, for I’m confused. I know there is a 6 and I know there is an 8, but I don’t know how to put them together. When I figure that out, I’ll know whether I’m 68 or 86 years old.”

Now, age can be seen from more than one perspective. The dictionary defines age as “the time that a person or thing has existed since birth or beginning.” So, when determining age, we count the years lived and put that many candles on a birthday cake.

But maybe age is not that arbitrary. Daniel A. Poling, the well-known New York minister of Marble Collegiate Church and editor of The Christian Herald magazine, wrote, “Perhaps we are as old, not as our arteries, but as we think we are.” From that perspective, all of my life I have heard people say, “You are as old as you feel.”

I’m convinced there is some truth in that statement.

One thing I’ve noted over the years, some people I would consider to be young talked a lot about being old. On the other hand, I have known other people that I considered to be old who talked and acted like they were much younger.

Based on that simple observation of persons I have known in everyday life, I came to the conclusion that attitude is more important than the number of years one has lived. In spite of age, one can be young at heart, and that is important.

As the years pass, and they surely will, don’t sit around and mope and complain about getting old. Look forward with hope!

Remember Robert Browning, England’s “sage and philosopher-poet” of the nineteenth century, wrote, “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be …”

Howard Coop is a retired minister, author and religion columnist that contributes regularly to The Jessamine Journal. He can be reached at howardcooop@kudu4u.com.