Each week as we prepared to move we set aside bags and boxes of things to be donated or trashed. Things that we no longer needed or had fully served their useful life.
Electronic equipment stops working. Clothes fray at their edges. Paint peels. Glass breaks or chips. Wood warps. Metal rusts.
Given enough time even mountains will wash away to the sea.
Nothing is permanent. All things wear out or break down. Nothing is exempt.
But what about people? Each day from the day we are conceived cells die and are absorbed by other cells. For most people, until our early twenties, the growth of new cells out paces older cells. But as we age beyond thirty increasingly we lose agility, strength, reflexes, creativity and the ability to recall information. Great gymnasts are seldom more than teenagers. Great athletes seldom older than thirty. Inventors typically achieve success in their forties. We fall victim to presbyopia, presbycusis, and dementia as our eyesight, hearing and cognition fade with age.
Yet there is more to life than meets the eye, more than science can measure. As we age we become increasingly aware of our connections with all people, with all things, and with God. Our past sufferings become lessons learned for future losses including the loss of life. We begin to recognize God in all things: in the good and beautiful as well as in the ugly and painful.
So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
— 2 Corrinthians 4:16 – 5:1