How to Live to Be 100

He died at 102. So, the death of the Rev. Dr. Henry H. Mitchell was announced in News & Notes[1], a newsletter I receive. His age was not a typo. He lived to 102 years of age. 

Amazed by his longevity, the title of a related article in the same newsletter caught my eye: “Five Traits Centenarians Share.” I was curious. Do some things help a person live to be 100? It’s not a guarantee but, according to this article, some habits may add years to our lives. Here are those potential life-extending habits. 

“1. Having a positive attitude or being a cup-half-full type of person.

“2. Remaining active, whether joining a chess club, engaging in volunteer efforts or part-time work. 

“3. Maintaining or building connections with friends and relatives to avoid isolation.

“4. Exercising regularly. 

“5. Maintaining a healthy diet, including lots of plant-based foods.”[2]

Each of these habits is affirmed in Scripture. Proverbs 27:3 reminds us that as a person thinks within him or herself, so is that person. Philippians 4:8 urges us to think about what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise. 

Ecclesiastes 11:6 warns us that because of idle hands, the house leaks, and 1 Thessalonians 5:14, cautions us to warn those who are idle and disruptive. Jesus’ high priority on loving our neighbors underscores the importance of building connections with friends and family.

Before the New Testament writer, Paul, wrote that godliness benefits us in this life and the next (1 Timothy 4:8), he wrote that physical training is also good. Surely the Bible telling us our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) is a reminder to care for our bodies, and eating a healthy diet is an important way to do that. 

“Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding,” Proverbs 3:13 says. Proverbs 3:16 adds, regarding wisdom, “Long life is in her right hand.” 

Can we not conclude that to practice these five life-extending habits mentioned above is to be wise?

[1] News & Notes, Spring 2022, pp 4-5, a publication of MMBB Financial Services, 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 1700, New York, NY, 10115-0049, Norma Jean-Jacques, Communications Manager. 

[2] Ibid. 

In These Difficult Days . . .

Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash

“Coronavirus lockdowns have caused the Earth to effectively stop shaking” the headline read, for an article written by Chris Ciaccia, on Ciaccia also reported that CNN was told that Brussels saw a 30 to 50 percent reduction in ambient noise since the lockdown began in the middle of March. Because of less movement on our planet, seismologists are now able to pick up smaller earthquakes because there is less seismic noise. 

Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

Pandemic. The word itself is ominous. The experience of it more so. What has helped you cope? To do what we are told – social distancing, hand washing, masks, gloves – is a helpful guidepost to protect ourselves. At least we feel like we are doing something to compete with our fears and keep ourselves safe. These things are very important, but I need something or someone larger than this elusive, haunting virus to help me through this precarious time.

For me, that someone is God. God is the grand reservoir of meaning in the best of times and the worst of times. Few sources help us understand God and how God may help us navigate difficult  days like the Bible.

At times, the words of Scripture seem to leap from the page with a fitting application to present circumstances. That’s how I felt recently when I read Lamentations 3:20-24:

“I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, ‘The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!’”

Lamentations, as its name implies, is a lament. The Covid-19 pandemic is a time of lament. The emerging, ever-changing characteristics and unknowns of this virus add to our lament. That is one more reason to find encouragement and hope in this biblical passage – The faithful love of the LORD never ends! God and God’s loving character do not change. While updates on Covid-19 are changing daily, new every day, God’s mercies are also fresh every morning.

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