Living on Purpose: It’s never too late to learn something new

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2023

By Billy Holland

Columnist

Growing older is not an excuse to stop advancing in our faith and our prayers. Confess that you have energy and stamina, a sound mind, spiritual discernment, and a desire to live an active life. If you have worries, give them to God and trust that His promises to protect and care for you are genuine. If you feel you’ve lost your sense of purpose, God can help you get back in the race and find personal fulfillment that can restore confidence and self-worth. When we lose our fervor, we stop living. Studies have shown that continuing to learn and develop can enhance our lives and possibly add to our longevity.

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Is it true we are as young as we feel? Some are mumbling I don’t feel so young – ha! My grandmother did not act her age and was a force of energy. When her hair started turning gray, She would dye it red (she was a natural redhead) and always laughed and giggled. She was an optimist and saw the good in everyone except the really bad people. She was happy! Why? Because she decided in her mind to be satisfied. This means how we view life and ourselves is what people see. Have you known someone who acted old when they were young? My grandmother was active and hard-working, with an old-school “You can do it” attitude. She was such an inspiration to all who knew her, and I will always remember her “glass-half-full” personality.

I’ve noticed at 65, that I have good days and days when I’m tired, and it feels like I’m being attacked with negative emotions. I realize we all have these up-and-down times, but one way to battle sadness and discouragement is to listen to music that cheers our hearts and lifts our souls or maybe read some inspiring stories of how people overcame seemingly impossible situations. How about asking a good friend to go out for a nice dinner and a movie, maybe a museum, a concert, or take a weekend trip to see something interesting? Someone said you count your age by your friends and not years.

A friend confessed to me recently he had drifted away from his daily Bible study time and it caused him to feel agitated and stressed. When he straightened out his priorities, it reminded him of shoveling coal back into the boiler like an old steam engine. Doing what we need to do is difficult and will take sacrifice, concentration, and perseverance. As we have mentioned before about our responsibility to be the caretaker of our garden of thoughts, if we don’t like the weeds, we can surely eliminate them.

Another great perk to being retired is staying up late and sleeping as long as we want. My mom frequently tells me she’s tired and I encourage her to go ahead and take a nap, she can do whatever she wants without feeling guilty. The same thing goes for eating. I realize some people are on special diets, but if you are relatively healthy, why would you deny yourself a special treat of your favorite food now and then? At 85, Mom tells me she intentionally bypasses the snack aisle at the grocery and I can’t help but laugh. My sister and I tell her that if she wants something, for heaven sake’s, enjoy it! Besides, who doesn’t like an occasional trip to Dairy Queen?

Keeping the fires of our dreams and convictions burning allows us to keep pressing forward with new challenges and keeps us enthused with faith, peace, and hope. Watching television can become so boring that it can put us in a coma, which means becoming motivated will include redirecting our attention. It takes discipline to be focused on anything worthwhile. Ask God for more energy and consider taking supplements and vitamins with your doctor’s approval of course. There are many opportunities to help others, such as volunteering at the library, a hospital, God’s pantry, your church or some outreach organization in the community. Learn to play an instrument, research a topic you’ve always been interested in, write a book, write letters to those you love, go for walks, start a prayer journal, and intercede for those in need. Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying, “It’s not the years in your life that’s important, it’s the life in your years.”

Read more about Dr. Billy Holland and the Christian life online at billyhollandministries.com.