The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Monday, May 13, 2013

Secret of a 100 Year Old Man's Longevity ...

I was serving as a student chaplain in a retirement community. There I was introduced to a 100 year old man. When we met, he was sitting calmly in a chair by the window quietly watching the scenery. For him, my deep voice was a blessing as he was almost entirely deaf, but could still pick up my low tones. We talked for a bit ... and then I couldn't help myself. I asked him that most cliche of all possible questions, "What's the secret of your long life?"

Rather than roll his eyes at me, wave my question off, or laugh at me, he locked eyes with me and said in all seriousness:

"When I wake up in the morning I realize God must have something important for me to do today. Otherwise I wouldn't still be here."

That was a much deeper response than I was expecting and a true secret of long life. Every day this gentleman woke up with a sense of purpose and an assignment. He didn't know what needed to be accomplished that day but there was something, and he was going to find it and do it. There's an attitude that will keep you going for sure.

I think that dovetails with the line from the new Star Trek movie being released on Friday in which Captain Kirk tells Mr. Spock [and I paraphrase], "I don't know what I'm supposed to do. I only know what I CAN do."

Combine these two ideas and you'll have an impressive tool with which to face the day and the potential to make a real difference in somebody's life somewhere. Keep your eyes open and your sense of purpose strong.

On that day, this gentleman had an important message from God for me ... and it has stuck with me ever since. I thank him for both taking my question seriously and imparting his wisdom.


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