From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
“Birthdays are good for you,” someone said. “Statistics show that the people who have the most live the longest.” A reply came, “Looking 50 is great—if you are 60!” It is all perspective. Children look at their 30-year-old parents as old, their grandparents as ancient. Grandparents look at their children and grandchildren as forever young. Yet children are always pushing their young age up as fast as they can.
Ask a child how old he or she is. The answer will always end with “and-a-half.” A 10-year-old can’t wait to be 12. The 12-year-old wants to be a teenager. The teenager wants to be old enough to get married. Couples are anxious to marry their children off so they can become grandparents. When they get to the grandparent stage, they begin complaining about being too old.
Our society is made up of obsessive contradictions: the young want to be rewarded with big jobs without obtaining experience, the middle-aged brag about working out at the gym but can’t wait to retire in order to rest, and the old want to drink from the fountain of youth.
The truth is that instant success robs young people of the journey. It is along the journey that we obtain knowledge, collect memories, and have a sense of achievement that makes life a rewarding experience. And older people are often deceived by miracle drugs and creams promising renewed beauty and vigor. There is a great preoccupation with the physical side of life. More important is “the real you,” the soul that lives forever.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)