The goal of a long life is not to just add more candles to the birthday cake. It is to continue to add purpose and meaning, in spite of circumstances. Aging is not a curse. It is not a punishment. It is a natural process that might be delayed or altered somewhat through medical advancements, but it can never be denied. For those who see with eyes of faith, aging is ultimately a spiritual journey.
The thing is, there is no U-turn that allows you to escape the aging process. Certainly you can make changes in the direction of your life, but as long as you are alive, you can't avoid growing older. Try as hard as you might, you cannot keep your body from declining over time.
As people of faith, we must be careful not to make older adults feel like failures because they can't do things they used to do. We must make it clear that nothing is wrong with those who have grown frail. We need to remember that one day, it will likely be us pushing the walkers.
To age well is to have a realistic but hope-filled perspective of the road that lies ahead. Now's the time to get ready for the sacred adventure. There's no turning back!
Missy Buchanan is an author and columnist who has written books such as "Living With Purpose in a Worn-Out Body: Spiritual Encouragement for Older Adults" and "Talking with God in Old Age: Meditations and Psalms." You can follow her here.