By NELLY FAVIS VILLAFUERTE
Nobody wants to be old. Everybody wants to live a long time. Too bad our Lord God did not freeze time so we would be young forever. Instead we grow old and develop wrinkles on our faces. In the Book of Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, we see our Lord God saying to Adam and Eve (after our first parents disobeyed God): And the Lord God said: “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” (Genesis 3:22)
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As we age day by day, many of us feel fearful, insecure, and useless. Without admitting it, many of us who are over 50 start worrying where we will be “residing” after our physical death. This dreary thought causes sleepless nights to many of us. Especially to those over 50 years old. I, too, felt this way – until I started reading the Holy Bible regularly and felt reassured of God’s promises in the Holy Bible that through His grace and mercy our life will have a joyful ending provided we are obedient to Him. Let us enjoy life. Getting old is more than a chronological period of life. We should not count to days, months and years as fast-tracking our doom. Instead we should consider our blessings increased day by day. Our sense of wonderment and excitement should never wane, whether we are 12 or 70. Life is a priceless gift from God and should be lived basically to give glory and worship to our sovereign Lord and to share our blessings with other people.
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I am privileged and blessed that many readers of this column are over 50 years old. In fact, one of my favorite readers is a 95-year-old lady lawyer. Her name is Honorata Vicencio. I call her Lola Nora. In my June 28, 2015 article, I wrote a story about Lola Nora. Reproduced hereunder are excerpts of my article about Lola Nora:
“How would you feel if somebody you have not met personally writes you a letter telling you that she is transferring a precious antique personal possession to you? How would you respond to a letter of a 92-year-old lady telling you that she is transferring ownership to you of a 71-year-old antique Bible – a red letter edition, King James Version? Red-letter-edition Bibles are those where the words spoken by Jesus while on earth are printed in red ink. Red letter edition bibles have been much in demand for the past 85 years and have been treasured for decades as venerable Bibles. “… Nelly, please know that I bought the Bible in 1944 from a bookstore on United Nations Street, formerly known as Isaac Peral. It was originally owned by one Earl McGines.
“At that time, 1944, quite a few can afford to acquire books. I don’t recall how much I paid for it. But I think it was handsome.’”
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Last March 16, 2018, Lola Nora sent me through e-mail this note (March 8, 2018, was Lola Nora’s 95th birthday):
“Dear Nelly, I must be in the author’s mind when he wrote this:
“Time is slipping by quickly. Months and seasons become years; and my contemporaries and I are the present generation. But when comes the day that shall be my last, I’ll have no fear and regret… I was granted a life of abundance. (Author forgotten)
“Nelly, can you please do me a favor?
“Could this quotation find space in your column?
“It’d be your birthday greetings to me.
“Lola Nora” (Sorry Lola Nora. I misplaced your e-mail message. I just found the note last Thursday at 4 a.m., September 21)
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Sometimes we wonder why God let us get old. Here is one explanation from a president of a university:
“Robertson Mc Quilkin, former esteemed president of Columbia International University in Columbia, South Carolina, once drove an elderly friend on an errand. She moved slowly and painfully, being crippled with arthritis.
“ ‘Robertson,’ she asked as they drove along, ‘why does God let us get old and weak? Why must I hurt so?’
‘I’m not sure,” McQuilkin replied, “but I have a theory.’
‘What is it?’
“He hesitated to share it, but she insisted. This is what he said: ‘I think God has planned the strength and beauty of youth to be physical. But the strength and beauty of age is spiritual. We gradually lose the strength and beauty that is temporary, so we’ll be sure to concentrate on the strength and beauty which is forever.’ ” (Reference: Story by Robert J. Morgan)
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What would the world be without the old? Everyone wants to live long, isn’t it? And the only way to live a long life is by aging. Let’s keep on admiring wrinkles. Wrinkles are dignified and mute testimonies of experiences in life.
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This column continues to give out copies of the Holy Bible for free to those who cannot afford to buy their own copies. If interested, please send your letter-request to Ms. Nelly Favis Villafuerte, 5233 LRV Building, Fahrenheit St., Palanan, Makati City. Kindly mention if it is the Tagalog, English, Cebuano, or Ilocano Bible that is preferred.
Be joyful and forgiving! (Comments may be sent to Ms. Villafuerte’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org)