Handling change with foresight
IT IS very important that in handling major changes in our lives which are enumerated below, we have the ability to predict what is likely to happen and to use this particular ability to prepare for the future.
*Dealing with physical decline. It is undeniable that we begin to deteriorate physically at age 30. There are three suggestions in dealing with physical decline. First of all, acknowledge it gratefully and responsibly. Growing older is not a disgrace. Growing older need not be humiliating. Having limitations must not be construed as something shameful. Reaching old age is a blessing. Next is to live one day at a time. Each day has enough trouble of its own; squeeze as much joy by having a positive attitude. Then, to keep reasonably active. Exercise and selfdiscipline in eating are commendable because they help us feel better and live a quality life.
*Coping with vocational disappointment. We all like to be appreciated and many of us get a great deal of satisfaction out of our work. And most of us enjoy the added financial compensation that accompanies job advancement. But we must be aware of the two dangerous dragons which are activism and materialism. Activism says, “You are what you have accomplished.” Materialism says, “You are what you have acquired or accumulated.” The “successful but unsatisfied” and the “unsuccessful and frustrated” need to see that our real worth is not in how much we have accumulated nor how much we have accomplished. Both activism and materialism may produce misery and destroy lives.
*Adjusting to family change. Even in the best of homes, relationships keep changing. Children gradually become more self-sufficient and independent and parents must learn to give them more and more freedom. Before long, the children leave their mom and dad to establish new families. The parents become grandparents. Before they are willing to view themselves as middle-aged, the two of them are alone again. So they have to maintain their open communication, treat each other with kindness, develop common interests, pray together, thus, they will almost have a satisfactory life together even in their senior years. And we always remember that nothing equals close family relationships in producing old-age happiness.
*Adapting to retirement. The key factors in a happy retirement are meaningful devotions - take time everyday to feed your soul and pray, enjoyable activities - find something you can enjoy and spend sometime doing it, helpful service reaching out to others by giving used clothing, extra food, etc. and having an active mind - accept responsibility assign to you and the opportunity to do some creative thinking.
The other major changes to which a person must prepare are the death of one’s spouse - before it occurs and after it occurs whether we like it or not (I’m a widow for 25 years already), planning our legacy - set up a will or trust that clearly spells out how our estate is to be handled and evaluating one’s performance - how do we use the gifts God is giving us?
All of us, young or old, will have to face and handle these major changes with foresight, not only as an expression of our gratitude to God but also gracefully living with them everyday.*