By Dr. Rich Bimler, Lutheran Life Communities –
What does “aging gracefully” really mean? It is used so often in magazines like this one, in conversations, and in advertisements to be sure!
What does “aging gracefully” look like? Is it the way we walk, or talk, or smell, or even what we wear?
No one can really be against aging gracefully, but the problem is that it means different things to different people.
I like this definition of terms:
Justice – is getting what we deserve
Mercy – is not getting what we deserve
Grace – is getting what we do not deserve!
Spiritually speaking, the gift of Grace is, just that – a Gift! It is not what we do or how we look or even how we behave. It is totally a gift from a loving Lord who gives to you and to me something that we do not deserve – forgiveness, love, value, and a reason to live life grace-fully!
This understanding of the word Grace allows us to be grace-filled in new and exciting ways. It means that we can accept aging as a gift. It means that we can celebrate every day as a new day, in spite of our new pains and problems, because the Lord is still with us, loving us all the way!
This is what The Arlington of Naples, our new continuing care retirement community in the Lely Resort area, is all about. Our mission statement says it so well: “Empowering vibrant, GRACE-filled living across all generations!” Powerful! Exciting! This is a community that “Lives Brightly!” because we know of God’s Grace and love for each of us. This is a Faith-based ministry that is open to all faiths and cultures and lifestyles because we affirm that the Lord’s Grace is for every one of us!
So continue your vibrant, Grace-filled living, even when you do not look like it, or feel like it, or act like it. As the Lord forgives and cheers us on, we are empowered to share His Grace with others through our listening, our talking, our serving, and our attitude towards life that says: “I am Grace-filled”! That means I can continue to celebrate God’s gift of aging with people younger and older than I am, as I cheerfully (at least sometimes!) and energetically (sometimes!) confront life’s joys and challenges each day.
Blessings to you, my Grace-filled friend, as you and I continue to “Live Brightly!”, in the Grace of our Lord!
Challenge for the day: Look a good friend in the eye today and say, “My, you’re aging Grace-fully!”
About the Author
Dr. Rich Bimler, Bloomingdale, Illinois, has served the Church in various positions throughout his 49 year ministry career. He repositioned in 2006 after serving for 15 years as President/CEO of Wheat Ridge Ministries. He serves as the Ambassador of Health, Hope, and Aging (AH-HA!) for Lutheran Life Communities, Arlington Heights, Illinois. He continues to write, speak, and consult with other agencies and organizations throughout the world.
The Arlington – Naples
12276 Tamiami Trail East, Suite 501
Naples, Florida 34113
(239) 206-2646 or toll-free, (866) 986-9690