I’ve just received my Merdeka package. That tells you how old I am! Many would say that becoming a senior citizen means we are entering the last lap of our life journey. The statistics seem to confirm this: According to a recent news report, 1 in 16 Singaporeans aged over 60 is frail, and 1 in 10 has dementia. While I may eventually be part of these numbers, I hope to make my last lap fulfilling and enriching before that happens.
That’s why I think the Healthy Ageing Promotion Programme For You, an activity that aims to improve elderly people’s mental and physical health by putting them through various exercises, is a good idea. Started in 2017, it was recently expanded to cover more senior activity centres. The acronym for this programme is “Happy”—an apt title, as this is what many of us seek to be in our golden years.
As believers, we have the comforting assurance that our lives are in the Lord’s hands, and that we can trust Him to sustain us in our old age. At the same time, I believe there are some things we can do to age well and to grow old happily in the Lord. Here are 7 ideas:
1. Keep reading the Bible.
If we’re planning a holiday abroad, we will read up about the country so that we know more about its customs, sites, and people. Similarly, if we seek to “dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple” (Psalm 27:4), then we’d want to know more about God—which means we need to read more of His Word.
2. Be more forgiving.
Forgiveness has the power to bring healing to strained and broken relationships. And it brings healing and release to the person who forgives. Before our time on earth ceases, let’s try to seek reconciliation and restoration, and to forgive just as God has forgiven us (Luke 6:37).
3. Talk to our Father more.
God is always waiting to hear from us; He pays close attention to whatever we say to Him. Prayer reminds us that we are never alone (Psalm 66:19). Try taking long walks and having long talks with our Father, and you’ll experience a new peace with God and with fellow sojourners.
4. Help younger people to know Jesus.
If God has blessed you with grandchildren, you can help them to know more about God (Deuteronomy 6:5-8). When I was younger, God led me to share the good news with my three sons; it is now my desire to share about His saving grace with my grandchildren too.
5. Stay connected.
The busyness of working life may have taken us from our friends or those whom God had provided to help us when we were younger. Let’s take time to reconnect with them. Our church is a good community to stay connected in: we can offer our time to help those in need, such as ministering to the sick or extending hospitality to visitors. And we can meet up with fellow believers, to encourage and to be encouraged (Hebrews 10:24).
6. Recall Scripture.
Though our memories may begin to fail with age, it is worth trying to recall verses in the Bible that had helped us at various times in our lives. Remembering God’s Words and works reminds us just how dearly He loves us.
7. Learn something new.
Is there a skill or hobby you had always wanted to pick up? For me, it’s photography and the piano. Engaging our minds (with Scripture) and bodies in a journey of learning can reduce the onset of the atrophy of mind and body.
How would your list of things look like?
Father, teach me how to
make the best use of the time
that You have given me.
May I continue to
bring you glory
in my golden years.
God’s joy is available to us, all seasons of life.