There is Change in All Things

“There is change in all things. You yourself are subject to continual change and some decay, and this is common to the entire universe.”

~ Marcus Aurelius

Why stress over the inevitable? Smooth skin loses its elasticity. Faces wrinkle. Hair loses color then falls out. Body parts sag. Spines compress. Eyes dim. Hearing fails. We get sick. And eventually we die.

There’s no getting around it. Accept it. Let the natural course of events take place. Even celebrate it as a badge of honor for a long life well lived, as the symbolic reflection of a battle fought valiantly!

But if you struggle with insecurities about such things, I have a motto for you to adopt … and repeat as needed:

I am not my physical appearance! I am not my body! I am so incredibly much more than the surface allows you to see. What you see, as a matter of fact, is but the casing that contains the substance. And the substance is amazing!

If, on the other hand, it’s not all that amazing yet, make it so! It’s never too late to improve what’s under the hood.

Hollywood and Milan celebrate the young and beautiful. But theirs is a unique set of circumstances. Actors and models make a living off their attractiveness. Their professions rely in some measure on their ability to look appealing to others.

But the rest of us don’t likely have that same professional need.

I play piano and guitar. I’m not particularly good at either, but love playing. Guess what. I have never used professional musicians as the standard by which my sense of worth and worthiness was measured. I swim. I don’t feel bad about myself because I can’t qualify for the Olympic team.

Why then do so many feel worse about themselves because they don’t look like models and actors? Is musical ability or aquatic prowess less a virtue than appearance? I hope you don’t think so. But it does underscores, I hope, the absurdity of such physical comparisons.

So let go of them! In the final analysis, it just doesn’t matter. God will not care how much hair or how many wrinkles we die with.

But He may care how much of our time and resources are spent worrying, doctoring, manipulating and tweaking the outside at the expense of tweaking what lies beneath the surface (this is not the same thing as caring about our health, by the way. I am very health conscious. But that’s a different issue altogether).

As you come to recognize how very inconsequential all such preoccupations are with sagging and wrinkling parts, the importance of who you are inside – your character and integrity to universal principles – will totally eclipse the importance you or society places on the shape and size of body parts.

Don’t get me wrong: Eat right. Work out. Improve your health. Your health matters and is a goal worthy of diligent pursuit. But allow the natural decay that is the aging process and see it for the beauty that it truly is. Those who can see with clear eyes know exactly what I’m talking about.

The Golden Years are not called “golden” merely for having more money at the end of life than at its beginning, after all. They’re also golden because of the beautiful shine that radiates from a life lived long and nobly.