Part 3 of my "Aging with Grace" series
Special-Tea: John 15:5-8
Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you. – Isaiah 46:4 (NIV)
One of the things I like about teaching school is summer vacation. It isn’t so much that I get to sleep in because I try to keep the same wake-sleep schedule as I have during the school year. It’s the expanded quiet time for devotions that I most enjoy.
From September to June I’m lucky to have a half an hour a day to read my Bible and pray, let alone delve into spiritual growth books, work through an in-depth Bible study and keep a spiritual journal. I don’t even think about those “read the Bible in one year” schedules. I simply don’t have the time. My prayers are usually said during the half-hour drive to work. And I just don’t have the energy?mentally or physically ?in the evening to attend Bible study, as much as I want to.
During the summer, however, I have no reason to get out the door at a certain time. Taking at least two hours for devotions, for me, is the next thing to heaven. Perhaps that’s one reason I feel so good during the summer?I’m not so fatigued or stressed. Blanketing the day with prayer and plunging deeply into the Word help me to cope when life comes at me fast.
In their book The Graying of America, Donald H. and Barry C. Kauser note that people with faith tend to live longer: “Does religion actually serve to improve the health of elderly people? Over 10 years of studies at various universities have indicated that … people who have a deep religious faith seem to get sick less often and get better faster when they do get sick than people with much less religious faith. Those with a strong religious faith have also been found to have lower rates of heart disease, stroke and cancer.”
Scientific studies are showing that prayer can be a great healer, reducing stress and boosting the immune system. One study of AIDS patients found that the frequency of prayer was significantly related to longer survival.
“It seemed that people for whom religion had played a major role throughout their lives were aging better than those who weren’t religious,” one researcher noted.
Aging with grace, then, involves not only keeping active mentally and physically, but also taking your relationship with God to a higher and deeper level through prayer, and reading, studying and meditating on Scripture.
Retirement for me is still a ways off, but I sure look forward to the day when rush hour becomes hush hour.
Lord, no matter how busy I am, remind me to spend time with You every day. Amen.
Join me at the Seasons of Life Christian Women’s Conference at the Punxsutawney First Church of God on Oct.16, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Tickets, which are $20, include lunch and must be purchased by Oct. 11. Benefits Punxsutawney Christian School. For tickets, call PCS at 814-938-2295 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org For more information, visit the conference blog at http://seasonsoflifecwc.blogspot.com