My wife and I both had birthday parties this month.

We had small but very nice celebrations that another 31,536,000 seconds had ticked by – that’s the kind of fact you can find in an instant on Google.

So that has gotten me thinking a bit about aging – what the dictionary defines simply as “the process of growing old.”  Ouch.

But it can be much more.  It can be about celebrating life and having deep, meaningful relationships with others and with God.

That’s what the Psalmist invites us to remember in countless places, like Psalm 90.  He reminds us that God is eternal, “ageless” if you will:

“Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.  Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever You had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.” Psalm 90:1-2

He is acknowledging that God has always been and always will be – the very meaning of the name, as Scripture puts it, “I AM.”

Then, in the very next Psalm, we are reminded of something very important about our relationship to the Eternal God:

“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the LORD: ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, My God, in Him will I trust.” Psalm 91:1

It is the very essence, the secret, of aging well – abiding in the secret place – called God.

Regardless of our circumstances we can find some measure of peace and it is peace that is eternal.

That’s worth celebrating.   I think I will go have another slice of that birthday cake.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton


  1. Paul, I love reading your posts. This one reminds me that aging isn’t all bad–in fact, it can be so very good when we view it as a journey of getting ever closer to our God. Thank you! Cassie

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