Friday, July 17, 2009

Remaining Days

Even to your old age I will be the same, And even to your graying years I will bear you! I have done it, and I will carry you; And I will bear you and I will deliver you. (Isaiah 46:4 NAS)
The Remains of the Day In the 1989 Booker Prize-winner novel The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, Stevens, the main character in the story, reflects on his glorious days as a butler serving with dignity under Lord Darlington during the Second World War. Now, in his twilight years of life, he realizes how things could have been very different if he had pursued a relationship with Miss Kenton whom he had worked together during the years leading up to the war. Stevens and Miss Kenton failed to admit their true feelings, and as a result their relationship remained throughout as just a professional friendship which although came close to romance, never did cross the line to the end.

Many of us, like Stevens, tend to reflect on our past as we draw closer to our twilight years of life. We look back and evaluate to find out if we have lived meaningful lives and achieved the goals we have set for ourselves. We are quick to measure our achievements as a sign of success or disappointment, but we fail to realize these are not true indicators of what it means to live meaningful lives. True meaningful living is not about achievements, but about relationship, not the kind as expressed in this world, but the kind that bonds us to a closer relationship with God Who alone can fill the void inherent in our hearts.

Perhaps, some of us may feel we have lost our worth once we have crossed the line from retirees into the years nearer to the end of our lives. We may, like the psalmist, cry out to God not to cast us off or forsake us in time of our old age when our strength fails (Psalm 71:9). Although we may not be like Caleb of the Old Testament who at the age of 85 was able to say he is as strong as he was 45 years ago (Joshua 14:10-11), we can be assured that even to our old age, God will be the same, and even in our graying years, He will still bear us, carry us, and deliver us (Isaiah 46:4). We should therefore not give up on ourselves or sit back to count our remaining days, but like the apostle Paul nearing the time of his departure, continue to fight the good fight to finish the course in keeping the faith, for our future is laid up for us the crown of righteousness which the Lord our righteous Judge will award us on that day when we will meet Him face to face (2 Timothy 4:6-8).

Thank You God for not forsaking us in our old age even when our strength begins to fail. Help us walk in You Lord even in our graying years to fight the good fight in keeping the faith till we finish the course. Keep us strong Lord to serve You with all our hearts and minds, regardless the remaining number of our days. Prepare us dear Lord in our twilight years to be ready to return to You when the time arrives for us to see You face to face, for You alone is our joy and fulfillment, the One and only God in Whom we long to live our lives through eternity.

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