An Encouraging Word — Nourish the desire to keep growing

Everything is possible to one who has faith. Mark 9:23

Father J. Ronald Knott
Father J. Ronald Knott

Let’s call this “part two” of my words to inspire people who are “getting up there.” These words are not limited to people who are chronologically old. They can also be applied to those who are old in their minds long before they are old in their bodies.

Television is constantly pushing an endless stream of anti-aging products promising to make us look younger by filling in lines and wrinkles, lifting saggy places, de-puffing eyes, evening out skin lines and texture and reversing sun damage. “Ten days or your money back!”

It is mostly lies, of course, with a very thin margin of truth. Why don’t they just print a label on the back of those bottles or tubes that simply says, “Get over it! You’re getting old and there is nothing in this bottle or tube that will reverse that! However, it may help some people smell better.”

Television is constantly pushing, as well, an endless array of drugs that promise to cure about anything: dry eyes, constipation, heart attacks, irritable bowels, psoriasis, arthritis, diabetes and asthma, to name a few.

Unlike anti-aging products that get your hopes up, the disclaimers that go with these drugs can scare you to death.

“There could be serious side-effects from using this product: itching, suicidal thoughts, insomnia, severe dizziness, weight gain, severe internal bleeding, risk of cancer, trouble breathing or heart attacks.” Why don’t they just come up with a simple generic warning? “You’d better be sick! This stuff could kill you!”

I guess it goes with aging, but I tend not to believe anything on the labels of cosmetic products and everything on those papers stapled to my prescriptions from the drug store. Instead of focusing on finding a magic anti-aging cream or a miracle pill, I am trying to place my focus on something I can do something about and that is the way I look at things and approach life!

I want what St. John Paul II called, “youthfulness of spirit,” something that cannot be imposed from without, but something that is generated from within. That has to do with a desire to keep learning and growing, no matter how old one gets. It is something one does have some control over. All it requires is dedication, focus and determination.

Benjamin Franklin said, “When you are finished changing, you are finished.”

Soren Kierkegaard said insightfully, “If I could wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth or power, but for the passionate sense of the potential, for the eye which, ever young and ardent, sees the possible. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never. And what wine is so sparkling, what so fragrant, what so intoxicating as possibility.”

To hell with being 70! I am actually excited about the freedom and possibilities that lie in front of me!

“Always remember your present situation is not your final destination … the best is yet to come.”

Father J. Ronald Knott

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