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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Saturday, July 31

Gray hair is a crown of splendor.
—Proverbs 16:31a

Scripture tells us that God counts every hair of our head. That may be, but we are equally busy counting every gray hair ourselves! Too many of them and we head for color in a bottle, eager to cover up the truth that we are aging. 

Youth is prized in our culture—prized, advertised, and sold. What we buy is the notion that aging is to be avoided. And yet, aging happens. It begins at the moment of our birth. It is the natural process by which we discover the wonder of our world and ourselves. Aging is what makes it possible to move toward full humanity.

We turn from the reality of gray hair not because we are so vain and
cosmetically self-conscious, but because we are afraid that our age will
limit our lives. We worry we won't be as physically or mentally competent,
or we'll be less lovable, or less desirable, or less able to do all that still lies like a fantastic dream deep in the caverns of our being. But the most troubling fear is that we are on a journey toward death—and a face-to-face encounter with the Divine One.

Suppose we chose to experience aging instead as the graceful way in which
we discover our humanity and emerging spirituality? Suppose we entered
into the aging process prepared to give up our humanity and take on our
eternal soul? 

We might take a lesson from observing nature for a full 24 hours. We would see the sun peeping up over the horizon ready to shed its light on a newly awakened world. Nascent and fresh the day would dawn, but its dawn would signal its movement toward high noon, followed by its receding back down to the horizon so that night could be birthed. 

The early morning sun, having completed her round, would await her next entrance. There would be no worry, no abrupt anxiety, as the sun moved from its rising to its setting. Instead, we would see how life and death become one. Gray hair, far from being a reminder of death, is a reminder that life never really ends.

O God, let the gray hair roll! I am ready to participate in the process that makes life full and empties me of the fear of death.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2003.