Nearly one in five people currently in the UK will live to see their 100th birthday, according to the government. The Department for Work and Pensions said its figures suggested 10 million people – 17% of the population – would become centenarians. (source – BBC)
There are definitely more older people around now – although the funny thing is that the older I get, the younger the older people seem to be – or is that just me?
It is very obvious that we are living longer, and so we should, since medical advances mean that previously fatal conditions are now manageable. So we should perhaps aspire to live to 100 years old. Whether the prediction will be the case when the obesity bomb hits the ground is another matter.
But what percentage of the population will you or I be in? Would it change our lives if we knew?
Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
Remind me that my days are numbered – how fleeting my life is.
You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
at best, each of us is but a breath. (Ps 39:4-5, NLT)
I don’t know if I will make it to 100. In the grand scheme of things, it is a very small number of years, and my life is just a moment. It could be gone in a moment too! I am just a breath, and my time isn’t even a speck in eternity.
It takes words like this Psalm to remind me of that, to remind me that there is so very little in life that is worth the worry, the anguish, the pain or the anger that so often takes the time of our lives. We might look at some older people in care homes, see their illness, their dementia, or whatever might be taking away their quality of life and think, “No! Not for me!” But how much of the quality of our lives do we squander? Is that any better?
It’s time to take time and spend it wisely. It’s time to focus on each day as one of the limited number of days, to get its true priority.
This is the moment to start, because the next moment might be the end.