Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Growing Older

"Now faith is the assurance of the things we hope for,
being the proof of things we do not see, and the conviction
of their reality, faith perceiving as real fact what is
not revealed to the senses."
Hebrews 11:1

            Rushing Through The Ozarks
Joseph Baker

With the coming of another new year we are all...a year older.
Just what does it mean to us-this growing older?
Are we coming to a cheerful, beautiful old age,
or are we being beaten and cowed
 by the years as they pass?
Bruised we must be now and then,
 but beaten, never, unless we lack courage.

Not long since a friend said to me,
 "Growing old is the saddest thing in the world."
Since then I have been thinking about growing old, 
trying to decide if I thought her right.
But I cannot agree with her. 
True, we lose some things that we prize as time passes and
acquire a few that we would prefer to be without. 
But we may gain infinitely more with
the years than we lose in wisdom,
 character and the sweetness of life.

As to the ills of old age, 
it may be that those of the past were as bad 
but are dimmed by the distance.
 Though old age has gray hair and twinges
 of rheumatism, remember that childhood
 has freckles, tonsils, and the measles.
The stream of passing years is like a river 
with people being carried along in the current.
Some are swept along, protesting, fighting all the way,
 trying to swim back up the stream,
longing for the shores that they have passed,
 clutching at anything to retard their progress, 
 frightened by the onward rush of the strong current
 and in danger of being overwhelmed by the waters.

Moving With Faith

Others go with the current freely, 
trusting themselves to the
 buoyancy of the waters,
 knowing they will bear them up.
 And so with very little effort,
 they go floating safely along, 
gaining more courage and strength
 from their experience with the waves.

As New Year after New year comes,
 these waves upon the river of life 
bear us farther along toward the ocean of Eternity,
 either protesting the inevitable and looking longingly back
 toward years that are gone,
 or with calmness and faith, facing the future, 
serene in the knowledge that the power
 behind life's curtain is strong and good.

And thinking of these things, 
I have concluded that whether it is sad to grow old
 depends on how we face it, whether we
 are looking forward with confidence
 or backward with regret. 
Still, in any case, it takes courage
 to live long successfully, 
and they are brave
 who grow old with smiling faces.

Ozark Winter
Peggy Conyers

"Growing Older"
By Laura Ingalls Wilder
From the book, "Little House In The Ozarks"
A Laura Ingalls Wilder Sampler
The Rediscovered Writings
Edited by Stephen J. Hines
1991 Guideposts Edition

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