Guest / Limited Access /

A headline on an Internet site read, "Death, the nation's #1 killer." The point was obvious—death is inevitable! No one can outrun death. It will catch up to all of us eventually. When I was interviewed by Newsweek in 2006 and asked to give a statement about death, I commented that I had been taught all of my life how to die, but no one had ever taught me how to grow old. That statement triggered a lot of interest, and I began thinking about a book on the subject.

I am certainly no expert on the subject of growing old, but now that I am gaining some experience, I have to admit that not all things get better with age. I have a newfound appreciation—and understanding—when I read this passage in Ecclesiastes 12:

Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, Before the difficult days come, … Remember your Creator before the silver cord is loosed. (vv. 1, 6 NKJV)

When I read this passage as a young preacher, I can assure you I did not relate to it as I do now. What impresses me now is that Solomon, the wisest king ever to rule Israel, intended for the young to read it "in the days of … youth, before the difficult days come" (emphasis added).

When I was young, I could not imagine being old. My mother said, and the doctor confirmed, that I had an unusual amount of energy; and it followed me into young adulthood. When middle age set in, I dealt with physical weariness, but my mind was always in high gear, and it never took long for my physical stamina to return after a grueling schedule. It tires me out to dwell on it now, wondering how I ever kept up with such a jam-packed itinerary. I fought growing old in every way. I faithfully exercised and was careful to pace myself as I began to feel the ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueCheck Your Privilege Obsession
Subscriber Access Only
Check Your Privilege Obsession
Instead of fighting injustice, we end up fighting each other.
RecommendedPersecution in the Early Church: Did You Know?
Persecution in the Early Church: Did You Know?
Beginning as a despised, illicit religious sect, Christianity endured 300 years of hostility to emerge as the dominant force in the Roman Empire.
TrendingRussia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Russia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Group gives Protestants competition for souls, but also an ally on religious freedom.
Editor's PickAn Inside Look at China’s Remarkable Religious Resurgence
An Inside Look at China’s Remarkable Religious Resurgence
Journalist Ian Johnson sees faith on the rise where it was once ruthlessly suppressed.
%%var.bookTitle%%
Nearing Home: Life, Faith, and Finishing Well
Thomas Nelson
2011-10-17
192 pp., $8.99
Buy %%var.bookTitle%% from Amazon
Christianity Today
Billy Graham: Death's Destination
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

November 2011

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.