Tehillim Twenty-One: Aging

This psalm talks about David as the king of Israel and the blessings that he asked God for and was granted. “He asked You for life; You gave it to him, length of days forever and ever (Psalms 21:5).” This is an interesting blessing, and as someone who has been spending a lot of time lately with elderly people in different physical and mental stages, it seems like a double edged sword. A long life is a beautiful thing, if one lives it well and fully. But an eternal life can go on for far too long. I see some people who are blessed in their long lives. They enjoy the ongoing beauty of the universe, appreciate their children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren, and age with wisdom and grace. But there are others for whom long life isn’t always a blessing. They may become bitter, or lose their faculties, or any other number of things that make aging a sad experience. In those cases it may be better to live a shorter, happy life, and end on a high note. These are all obviously complex and potentially heartbreaking issues. But hopefully as we all age, blessings will be what we’re gifted.

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