When I was little, my dad used to look at me and say, ''I can't go swimming with you - I'm too old!'' Even though I resented those words then, today I find myself looking at my younger friends and saying, ''I can't go jogging with you. I'm too old!''
Have you ever caught yourself saying something like that? Maybe it was said in jest or as an excuse. But do we really believe it? Ism age a legitimate reason for not participating in activities?
If we answer flatly ''Yes,'' we are saying, in effect: ''I am a mortal, a clump of matter that is able to be active only at certain times in a material cycle. As I get older, matter becomes more restrictive. Matter knows how old I am and determines what I am able to do.''
Such a view may be labeled by many as ''realistic.'' But is it true? Are we really condemned to the conditions of old age, or is there an alternative?
Christ Jesus had little regard for material limitations; he had a different approach to life - a spiritual one. He looked on man as subject only to God, eternal Life, never to death or any other condition of matter. He said, ''He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.'' n1
n1 John 5:24.
God is Life, and God is eternal. Therefore God is eternal Life. We read in the first chapter of Genesis that man is made in the image of God. It follows, then, that man must be the image of eternal Life. The real and only man of God's creation can never approach death; he is not subject to decline. He expresses infinite, unlimited Life, despite the physical senses' assertion that he is a fragile mortal.
As we understand these truths we can reverse our limited views and see the basis for expressing activity freely. We can deny the claim that matter or age governs us or anyone, and begin actively reflecting the dominion of God, Life.
Is this standpoint simply a brand of ''mind over matter''? No, because we are understanding that God alone is Mind, divine intelligence, and that this Mind governs all and is Allm. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, says in Science and Health with Key to the Scripturesm: ''Man, governed by immortal Mind, is always beautiful and grand. Each succeeding year unfolds wisdom, beauty, and holiness.
''Life is eternal. We should find this out, and begin the demonstration thereof. Life and goodness are immortal. Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight.'' n2
n2 Science and Health, p. 246.
So the next time we catch ourselves saying, ''I'm too old,'' perhaps we should ask ourselves, ''Who says so?'' According to the law of God, the law of divine Life, we're never too old or too young to participate, to contribute, to share - to enjoy the abundant and adventurous opportunities of life.
The prophet wrote, ''Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary?. . .They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.'' n3
n3 Isaiah 40:28, 31.
Too old? Not me. . .not you! DAILY BIBLE VERSE Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: . . . who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's. Psalms 103:2, 4, 5