“Time goes faster when you get older.”
I heard it again and again through my younger years, and took it like younger ones take a lot of things the older ones say (until they get there).
Brother Flowerday put another dimension on this saying when he added, “It is a blessing that it does.”
I had to think about it at that time, but now I agree, time has speeded up.
Is it the sense of more to do, and less time to do it? Or the feeling of too much time lost? Or the grief of being blunder-prone?
Or the fact that everything takes longer?
Or do we feel disheartened by factors beyond our control?
Whatever the reason, it is a reality we have to expect, accept, and use to our spiritual benefit.
It is no secret. We are all getting older. One day at a time, whether we are 17 or 75. What can we do to profit by “the older the faster”?
Let’s pick up a few pointers that may be helpful:
The older, the faster?
1-Accept Your Age.
You had nothing to do about determining it. Young or old, accept it as God’s gift.
Think about the thousands of people who never had the PRIVILEGE of being your age.
The Psalmist’s words are sufficient:
Psalm 31:15 (ESV) 15My times are in your hand; rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
Every day we are given is another day of lovingkindness from our loving heavenly Father.
Lamentations 3:22–23 22Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. 23They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
God’s Great faithfulnesss—EVERY day.
The older, the faster?
2-Maximize Your Spiritual growth rate
How do we do it? By desperate concentration. No time to relax or “take it easy.” The faster time passes, the less of it remains. But no need to slow down. Our inner growth need not be limited by our physical limitations (or possibilities). As Paul said of himself,
2 Corinthians 4:16 16Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
Renewed daily. Every day.
What did Job say along the same line:
Job 17:9 9…the righteous will hold to his way, And he who has clean hands will be stronger and stronger.
Stronger and stronger. That is maximized growth rate. How do we make it happen?
We must seek HIGHER. Above the level of the instincts. Above what is all around us. God’s call is always HIGHER.
What did Paul say?
Colossians 3:1–2 1If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
It is especially forceful from the Revised English Bible:
Colossians 3:1–2 (REB) 1Were you not raised to life with Christ? Then aspire to the realm above, where Christ is, seated at God’s right hand, 2… Fix your thoughts on that higher realm, not on this earthly life.
It is all about getting OFF the earth-level. Notice those words:
ASPIRE… FIX your thoughts on the higher realm.
It takes effort and practice, something WE have to DO. Giving up the lower for the HIGHER.
Which means concentrate on what matters most, thoughts that lift us. Think about where our thoughts are.
Remember the lesson about the stork and the eagle? The eagle was inviting the stork to soar with him, up where the sun was bright and the breeze was fresh. The stork listened to the eagle, then rolled his eye skyward and asked, “are there any snails up there?”
That is where our minds naturally dwell. That is why Jesus said:
Matthew 6:33 33But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Think about the issues at stake. Not what we can find on the earth-level, but higher, ABOVE it all, on the “realm above.” We are dealing with matters of eternal DEATH and eternal LIFE. God’s realm!
The older, the faster?
Paul had a set speed. We would call it “maximum.” Hear it in his letter to the Philippians.
Philippians 3:13–14 (ESV) 13Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
There is a statement associated with Paul that describes unrelenting progress. It isn’t Scripture, but it surely comes with what we know of his life.
When last seen, he was still climbing.
Paul’s last recorded letter, from all indications written very near the close of his life, is a picture of “still climbing.”
2 Timothy 4:7–8 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
As Christians we have a constant duty at all stages of life. No exceptions.
It is the same thought in a different metaphor. It is a passage from the Psalms we can take to heart:
Psalm 92:12–14 12The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13Those who are planted in the house of the Lord Shall flourish in the courts of our God. 14They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing,
Jeremiah describes the tree planted by the river drawing constant nourishment, growing year round, all the time. Day in and day out, this tree never stops yielding fruit.
Jeremiah 17:7–8 7”Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, And whose hope is the Lord. 8For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.
The older, the faster?
4-Be Grateful (Not Grouchy)
It is easy to think we are grateful. But how easily do we criticize others’ efforts—when we may not even understand all that they are up against, or what they are doing?
Are we truly grateful for what others do that we can’t realistically do?
As we often say, it is natural to complain as to breathe, but when we feel like complaining, how about thinking first of how we can compliment?
Of course they are not doing it exactly OUR way, or the way we THOUGHT we did it. But why discourage? Why complain? Give them the chance WE needed, a chance to learn. Let them make their mistakes, and help them by being grateful, not grouchy!
If we learn to thank God for every hour and every blessing granted, we will have no time or breath to complain.
This is a COMMAND:
Philippians 2:14–15 (NKJV)14Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
Aren’t a lot of our little complaints really petty—especially when they are someone else’s?
Life is too short to be petty. These are great times to be alive. And they call for great living. When all the things God has prophesied for ages are coming together? When we are SEEING it right in front of our eyes?
It is TIME for great living! And great living is possible only when we face our little problems with great courage and great faith.
The older the faster.
Our challenge is to catch the rapidly flying time and make it count for Eternity.
Then it will be
The Older, the Faster—the Nearer!
Nearer the KINGDOM and LIFE!