"Smiling at the Setting Sun", An Elderly Believer Says

A cross on a hill facing the setting sun.
A cross on a hill facing the setting sun.
By Le Tu March 25th, 2021

It is written in ancient medical books that "a hundred and twenty years old is considered great longevity", and the stages of life are divided by age: the stage where you are just born is called infancy, where you can talk, then later walk and finally start going to school is all childhood, twenty is youth, thirty is primacy, forty is maturity, fifty is middle age, sixty is seniority, seventy is elderly, eighty is aged, and ninety or more is longevity test. Am I really aged as I'm approaching eighty?

There is a Minnan song that says: "At fifty you think of everything like a kid, sixty is the age of youth, seventy is quite uncommon, at eighty you should rejoice, ninety is indeed rare, and at a hundred, you will be praised". The first time I heard this hymn was at a church meeting in 1993, where nearly ten elderly people in their seventies and eighties sang their hearts out with joy; although their voices were hoarse and occasionally out of tune, they felt rejuvenated and full of youth in the love of God. It was this poem that inspired me to set up a blog account named "Sixty Years of Youth", to share my faith in 2006 when I turned sixty; do not be depressed at sunset, do not get worn out long before your time is due, avoid lamenting the passing of time, but I will be grateful that God still keeps me healthy and lively today, which is the greatest blessing in this life.

How time flies! As I am approaching eighty, all sorts of feelings crop up in my mind. On the blog post "When I was 60 Years Old, I Started a New Journey", I wrote: "The purpose of life is to create value in life, but the true value of life is not always measured in money. Our elders can enjoy a happy life and a beautiful sunset every day; our husbands or wives can have a lifelong companionship with us; our children and grandchildren pass on valuable faith from their parents; we accumulate good experiences on how to deal with people, learning bitter lessons in every day of our life and our friends and relatives can enjoy sincere love. It's a really mundane, meaningful but difficult life project that doesn't require ambitious aspirations, just stage-by-stage goals. You may never accomplish it, but you can strive with all your heart to be the best possible person."

This is exactly how I have lived out my life's values over the past ten years. It is all about the grace of God. Looking back, it is amazing how God's providence works. I have personally witnessed several elders and close relatives of my family passing away back to their heavenly home. Gratefully, they were all Christians, and they had nothing but hope and peace on their way “home”, because they knew exactly where they were going. The footprints they left are the light on my journey “home”.

A person can accept a faith that he thinks is best, and once he decides that it is worth holding on to for the rest of his life, he will consistently pursue the life given by that faith, “following the requirements of the truth to deal with his whole life”.

Although I still have to face many challenges and will be weak in my later years, I firmly believe that my future is full of sunshine as long as I walk with the Lord. Although I am not in charge of my own destiny, I know that God has different plans for everyone, and trust that His arrangements are always the best.

"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8)

(The original article is published by Gospel Times.)

- Translated by Wylie Sun

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