I have a delightful little book called "Greetings from Senility -- Your Road Map to Aging." On the front cover, there is a signpost with three different directions to take: "Denial, Optimism, Acceptance." The publisher, Willow Creek Press, gives a little introduction noting that "we are all travelers on the highway of life, but some of us are a bit further along on the trip." We may remember our days of turning 21 and 30 and then got worried about old age when we became 40. And now, at the biblical age of "three score and ten years" (seventy), we ask how we ever got there. It came by surprise. (Psalm 90:10)

The first picture in the book is of a kitten looking at a cupcake with one candle on it. The caption reads, "There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in." The commentary reads, "The short, sweet season of youth seemed to you an eternity. You couldn't wait to put it behind you, to grow up, to graduate from a bike to a car." And now, as George Burns put it, "You can't help getting older, but you don't have to get old."

We know that the general pattern of life is to move from childhood to adulthood and on to old age. Along the trip, we adjust to various changes and seek to live positive lives at any age. The Bible supports our efforts with many examples of living into old age. The psalmist writes that the righteous flourish like a palm tree, and even "in old age they still produce fruit." (Psalm 92: 12-15) For some old age is not an approach to senility. My grandfather was still alert in his thinking at the age of 100. Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh. (Exodus 7:7)

But we're not all that fortunate. We age and some experience forgetfulness, wrinkles, gray hair, and even senility. But at any age, we are the Lord's. God created us to enjoy life and eventually to let it go. Some do this with grace following the signpost for acceptance. That doesn't mean that it isn't a struggle, but we are meant to let go. As the slogan says, "Let go and let God." Give thanks for your life and release your spirit into the hands of God. You are loved at any age by God; and there comes a time when you don't have to do anything to prove your worth. You simply need to be present for God as you are and accept God's abiding love for this life and the next.

St. Paul writes, "So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal." (2 Cor. 16-18)