The Armor for Old Age

Mrs. tVM has traveled for nearly three weeks in September.  She returns this evening.  In her absence, Clarence and I have kept our minds, bodies, and spirits active.  Still, as another year on Earth comes to an end, one wonders how many are left.  I thought about that this morning, and as I did, I remembered this old post.  I first wrote it more than two years ago and decided today is a good day to repost it.  Life can end when you least expect it, but the older you get, the less a surprise it becomes.

That thought encourages me to remember Cicero’s ancient but always relevant statement…

“The best armor of old age is a life well spent.”

And life is well spent when we live it actively from sunrise to sunset.

timeSeven years ago, on August 9, 2011, we offered a post “The Time Is Always Ripe to Do Right.”  While it centered on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” I was thinking about the introductory paragraphs this week….

Time can be our ally, or time can be our fiercest enemy.  Has anyone ever said to you, “Time heals all wounds?”  Many attribute those words to the ancient Greek dramatist Menander.

Country award-winning vocalist Clint Black includes a litany of classic ‘time statements’ in his memorable 2004 song “Spend My Time:”

  • “Seems I made good time.”
  • “I’m gonna spend my time like it’s going out of style.”
  • “No matter how much time I buy, I can never spend it all.”
  • “We’re always running out of time.”
  • “I’m always losing mine.”
  • “There’s not enough of it about.”
  • “Though it’s always here, it will always come and go.”
  • “The days become the years that’ll be gone before you know.”
  • “I’ll only use what’s mine.  I’ve been saving for a while.”

These phrases sound familiar, and if we reflect on them, we can draw on a memory that exemplifies each.  Time is free.  While an attorney, a plumber, a psychologist and a mechanic may charge you by the hour for his or her services, God extracts nothing from you for the time he gives you every morning you rise with air in your lungs.  He only asks that you use it wisely.

A statement by the great Roman statesman Cicero – assassinated in 43 B.C. – brought ‘use of time’ to mind.  Cicero said,

“The best armor of old age is a well spent life.”

Seems that the older I get, the more I reflect on life.  They say a person should ‘live in the present’ because we can’t change the past and have no control over the future.  While that is true, I think reflection is a good thing.

My life gets better just about every day.

I have undoubtedly and admittedly made mistakes in my life, but upon reflection, it has been a life well-spent with few regrets.

I think it is never too late [or too early!] to make a good investment of the time we are blessed with.  Don’t let ‘would beens, coulda beens, shoulda beens’ hold you back.  You have plenty of time to build your suit of armor for old age!

The Return of the Crusader, 1835 (oil on canvas) by Lessing, Carl Friedrich (1808-80)

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  1. I see I made a comment in the past about time. That verse is still relevant to me. My wife and I were talking about use of time today. Over the years I have concluded that just being busy doesn’t mean productive. It is important to do the right things. It is important to me to understand how God has made us and His purposes for us. Everyone is different, but each one has a purpose. There is meaning in life.

    1. I am glad you noted you had commented two years ago! You are so right: it’s all about doing the right things. As I published my seventh novel in February, it occurred to me that the common thread that runs through all seven stories is that someone, somewhere will always step up and do the right thing. If each of us concentrates and thinks about that, Earth has a great future! I believe!

  2. The Bible readings for this week speak exactly to your point. Ephesians 5:15-20: “Brothers and sisters: Watch carefully how you live, not as foolish persons but as wise, making the most of the opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not continue in ignorance, but try to understand what is the will of the Lord.”