March 22, 2019

Heading Into New Territory by Alan Anderson

Isaiah 46:4: “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; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.”

I’m heading into new and unknown territory for me. Some people refer it to “old age.” I don’t know when one is supposed to know old age has been reached. All I know is I have never been there before but I know it’s just around the corner. It’s seems natural to be growing older. I wonder what being “old” will be like? I sense eternity is on the horizon and I find comfort in that future.

My years of being involved in ministry have caused me to listen to my teachers, those older than I. They have taught me challenges and blessings of old age. As one older lady said to me “Old age ain’t for sissies!” I believe her. The blessings include doing life on a more unhurried basis, especially if one continues to enjoy good health. These days with spring drawing closer I spend time outside just watching the birds eat from the old coffee maker I turned into a birdfeeder. No reason to rush from this simple pleasure.

I believe spending time with my elders, my teachers, has helped pave the way for me, as I grow older. The time with them was a study in aging. I saw the joy of old age in their eyes and the cries of old age from their hearts. The loudest and most heartbreaking cries came from those whose beloved children had died before them. As they told me, that’s not supposed to happen. Crushing yet humbling words, I pray I never experience such a sorrowful loss.

I remember being invited to a birthday party for a lady who turned one hundred five years old. She was the center of attraction and she loved it. She was a library of stories going back decades. She taught me of the enduring love for our parents we may enjoy even to our old, old age. One day when I visited with her we both realized Mother’s Day was not far away. She turned to me and said, “Here I am over one hundred years old and I miss my mom. In fact I miss both my parents.” I will always remember that sweet endearing statement.

As I get older I am aware I have more years behind me than I do ahead of me. As a Christian I also know life does not end with my earthly death. I guess I am at a point in life where such a thought is acceptable to me. Such a prospect as a life after this makes this one even more worthwhile. It’s like living in the here and now is giving me practice for the life to come.

I find comfort in my faith in God as I walk into the later stage of my life. I am reminded from the Bible that God loves me. Wow, what a precious truth to embrace. His Word also assures me He has prepared a place for me and I will be in this place forever. Such assurance is humbling. You see, faith in God means I am not earthbound. My citizenship is not confined to this life.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.—John 14:3 (NIV)

If you read this rambling blog post to the end I thank you. As I write it is like I am chatting with friends. You are the kind of friends who make life less lonely and more meaningful for this aging writer. I mean, where would life be without writers or readers? We are in this life together my friends. Thank you for being my companions.

You can read more by Alan Anderson on his blog Scarred Joy.


  1. Alan, I sure enjoyed your thoughtful post today on the uncharted territory of old age. There are more of us who can see it from here. Like you, I'm grateful for the confidence we have in Him as we face our futures.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Hi Brenda! Thank you for being a companion along the way. :) I appreciate your comments.

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed your post, Alan. Last fall I celebrated my official entry into seniorhood, so your descriptions resonated with me. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Hi Kathleen! I'm celebrating with you. :) It seems to me we have reached a milestone in our lives. Keep on writing my friend.

  4. It seems many of us writing and reflecting are realizing we "have more years behind us than we do ahead of us." Life continues to bring unchartered territory as we age and I too take comfort that eternity is on the horizon. Thanks for this thoughtful post.

  5. Hi Jocelyn. Uncharted territory has its own sense of excitement. Beyond the horizon is home. :)

  6. Your blog, as most often is the case, Alan, strongly resonates with me. Although I'm probably physically ahead of you in age, we can still be companions on the journey, particularly when we share the Christian faith and the perspective that can give us. Your blog reminds me of the hymn by Carey Landry, Companions on the Journey:

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this personally uncharted journey. We may well find benefit in the charts others have provided in the Bible and other writings and by those we meet who've passed this way before us. May God watch over your path.

  7. Thank you for the encouragement Sharon. I like being companions on the journey in some way. I'll look up the hymn you mention. Thank you for your words of those who have gone on before us. There is definite solace in those in the Bible as well as the Church Fathers. Bless you Sharon.


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