Q: I just had my 60th birthday, and I’m not handling it very well. I hate the thought of growing older, and now people are asking me questions like when I plan to retire. It really bothers me. Why don’t my friends stop trying to upset me? – H.McN.
A: I doubt your friends are deliberately trying to upset you; in fact, they probably think they’re honoring you. Unlike you, they look forward to retirement (or have already retired), and they can’t imagine anyone not wanting to reach that goal.
Not everyone is like this, of course; some people want to work as long as possible. What concerns me about your letter, however, is that you apparently don’t want to face reality — the reality that the years are passing and you will grow older. Instead of denying this, wouldn’t it be better for you to accept it and plan for it? The Bible says, “The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways” (Proverbs 14:8).
How can you do this? First, I hope you’ll face honestly why you hate the thought of growing older. Is it because you’re afraid of old age? Is it because your self-worth is so closely tied to your job that you think you’ll be worthless some day? Or is it even a fear of death?
Be honest about your fears and turn them over to God. God loves you, and if you put your life into Christ’s hands, you won’t need to be afraid of the future. Commit your life — and your future — to Christ, and take comfort in his promise to be with you forever. God’s promise is for you: “Even to your old age and gray hairs … I will sustain you and I will rescue you” (Isaiah 46:4).
Write to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201 or go to BillyGraham.org.