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Thursday, July 30

Do Not Go Gentle...

About two months ago, I began going to physical therapy three times a week. I’d like to say it’s because of an old sports injury, or a wild freak-accident I’d been in, or better yet, that I’d hurt myself rescuing a helpless kitten escape a burning building. You know, something cool like that, but that wouldn’t be the truth.

Sadly, the truth is much less thrilling than any of that. The truth is that I turned 40 this year. Yep, the big 4 0. It is no longer possible to deny that I am middle-aged. But all in all, that hasn’t bothered me too much. After all, my experience has shown me that each decade of my life is better than the previous one.

With aging maturity though, also comes some unwanted things. Things like aches, pains, strains and cracks. Things like not being as fast, fit or flexible. And the understanding of what itis’s are: arthritis, tendonitis, bursitis. I’m now learning the importance of core conditioning and strength training, not for vanity sake, but for health sake.

Some of this is to be expected after all, because we do have earthly bodies that are already in a state of decay and dying to this life. There is no fountain of youth, magical pill, or expensive surgery that will grant us immortality. Unless we meet our demise early in life (which is always possible), old age will creep upon and overtake us. That is merely biology.

But one day, our bodies will last, and we will be pain and illness free. God has prepared for us an eternal and glorified body, to be dwelled in when this fleshly body wears out. One day the aches will be gone, a distant memory of a time when things weren’t perfect and pure. I love the hope, assurance and comfort I get from the following passage of Scripture:

“For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodiesWhile we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.” ~ 2 Cor. 5:1-5

Until that time comes, however I intend to do what I can to be, and live, healthy. Simple activities like eating well, stretching, strengthening, and getting enough water and sleep are great ways to put off the inevitability of old age. Yes, it will come, but I'll not just sit back and let it overtake me. I am reminded of one of the few poems that I actually like. I first heard it in high school and it struck a chord with me even then. I hope you enjoy it too.

~~~

Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night
By Dylan Thomas


Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

5 comments:

RickNiekLikeBikes said...

I live well and safe with God on either side of eternal life! Granted though, one side does include more PT.

Nitewrit said...

Lauryn,

At forty you've reached late afternoon, but not evening yet, let alone night. Forget the aches and pains that go with the territory. I think as we age life becomes better. Perhaps that is knowing its a step closer to whom we worship, but I also think it brings a peace and understanding of this world as well. You have nearly three decades to reach my age and perhaps to my father and mother, I am only in late afternoon too.

Larry E.

Blessed Mom of 8 said...

Lauryn - what a beautiful post, even if it is about itis's! LOL!

Praying through your healthy habits you will see noticeable changes and feel better. Sleep and water are great starts!

Lots of love,
Jill

Leslie said...

I love the Bible verses that you quoted!

I am 44 and had a miscarriage last September. At my last doctor's appt., he said it sounds like I'm at the beginning stages of menopause. All I could think was that less than a year ago I was pregnant and NOW I may be starting menopause? Well that stinks!!

With my 40's has come weight gain, too. I sure hope my eternal body is skinny minny!

Travis said...

Excellent post, Tlauryn. I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. I suppose I'll understand when I hit 40 next year. Until then, I'm enjoying my 30's.

Funny story: Last week at church our youth minister had a young man who was helping teach the class. The youth minister is just a year or two younger than me. The helper is still in his 20's. The helper kept telling the youth minister, "It's an age thing. You won't understand until you're my age."

I suppose that you are how old you think you are...