March 8, 2020 by Kgalalelo
I attended a birthday party of a dear friend of mine yesterday. She was turning 50 years old and it was a great honour to spend the afternoon with her. I commend her family for having acknowledged that as an important milestone to be celebrated and did a splendid act of throwing her a surprise celebration. It was an intimate occasion at a secluded location, roughly 18km from the city with no less than thirty people in attendance comprising immediate family and close friends.
As I was sitting there listening to speeches, I felt grateful that I was regarded as one of those special people in her life. We all need that sometimes, to know that we matter and that our contribution in the lives of others mean something. I was really touched.
I saw her life in pictures that the family had organised, from the time she was a baby until she blossomed to becoming a young woman. We never really change much as we grow older but it is fascinating to see the transition from the time we were younger, right through to adulthood and having families of our own.
Just before I left, my children wanted to know if they were coming along and I responded with a no because it was an adult only function with a handful of people invited. Thinking about it now, the last time I went to a party was last year in May when we were invited as a family to another fiftieth birthday party of a friend of ours.
Every year that God adds into our lives is significant, we might not celebrate all of them with huge gatherings but there are turning points that are worthy to commemorate and go big and fifty is one of those to many people.
This year started differently for me as well, besides the fact that it is flying so fast considering my busy schedule, I’ve been thinking a whole lot about growing older too and someday in the future by God’s grace, I will turn fifty too and who knows how I will celebrate my own.
When I look at myself in the mirror every morning, I see a matured woman; my dress sense is slowly changing as I’m more interested in midi length skirts than shorter dresses, I use anti-ageing products to keep my skin youthful and drink supplements with food. My knee-high heels are killing me and now prefer lower, more balanced wedges. These are serious changes!
I’m at a place where I need to start accepting this stage of my journey and embrace it, begin to make healthier eating choices as well considering the bulge in the wrong places, drink more water than coffee, though it is already posing a challenge, exercise and just take care of myself better. I’m not fully there yet, however, thinking about it seriously.
The Bible says in 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.”
God says that He will take care of us from beginning to end, therefore there is no need to worry.
While at the party, I had a chance to chat with my friend’s mother, a proud seventy something year old woman, looking gorgeous in her black and white traditional Xhosa attire and she related how she’s enjoying her life. She called life after 70 the bonus years through grace and have been to Mauritius and other places with her pals.
I thought how precious it is to live life to the fullest even in your old age. Nothing stops her from doing the things that she wants in life. She has a positive outlook to life which carries her through. Job 5:26 says, “You will come to the grave in full vigour, like sheaves gathered in season.” This is God’s promise to all His children.
Old age doesn’t have to be a drag nor a dread. It is a natural progression of life and all of us by God’s grace, will be gathered to our people “old and full of years” (Job 42:17). It is part of our evolution.
Moreover, Psalm 9:10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding”. I mean, she was talking about God all the way through and it is a lesson learnt that nothing can be achieved without God because He says in Psalm 91:16, “With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
God grants us the desires of our hearts when we honour and remember Him in all that we do and directs our paths. The Bible says, “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4). David wrote Psalms and they are full of wisdom; it demonstrates that he was a wise man who depended solely on God.
I have a huge respect for the elderly as I slowly recognise that it is the path that all of us are heading or supposed to advance to according to God’s plans. He says in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.
Let us take a step back and evaluate our own lives because they are worth living in harmony with God. When we live in, for and with Him, we are guaranteed strength when we need it to carry on in this journey right through old age. We begin to bear fruit and stay fresh and green (Psalm 92:14).
“Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord”.
Kgalalelo Saane Mphephuka
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