Thirty-five years ago, I used to run 80-100 miles a week to be able to run a marathon. I ran one two years in a row. And I finished both. Now I run an average of once a month. Guess what? I can no longer run a marathon. In fact, I have a hard time running to the mailbox. Okay, I’m 67 years old, have arthritis, have had 3 heart attacks and am 25 pounds overweight. But did I stop running because of my physical conditions? Or am I in my present physical condition because I stopped running.
The singing group that I used to be a part of eventually disbanded because one of our main singers felt his voice was no longer good enough to perform. The problem? He only sang at our once-a-month practices and at our concerts. Other members were part of our church worship team and sang at least twice a week. Some of simply love singing all the time. My wife and I recently traveled with four other friends to and from Florida by car. We sang along with the songs on the radio for hours at a time. When we returned home, I found that my voice was clearer and had a greater range than it had for a long time.
Our brain works the same way. My memory is no longer as good as it once was. Because of that, I often turn to wife to help me remember something rather than continuing to concentrate on my own to remember whatever it was. I forget names and I forget words while having a conversation. I know some of that happen may happen simply because we get older. More brain cells die off. But I wonder if using our minds more and in more complicated ways, we could help to improve our ability to think and delay the onset of memory problems. Do we lose our mental sharpness because our mind is slowing down or does our mind slow down because we don’t use it think in ways that require mental sharpness.
God gave each of us certain talents and abilities that are different for each of us. There are those that help us to achieve positions of authority. Others may give us the ability to put us in the public eye and make us famous. Others may be things that help us to work behind the scenes in total obscurity. And many fall in between. But if we don’t continue to do what we were made to do, our ability to do it begins to diminish. It’s like exercising your muscles. The more you work out, the stronger you get. If you never use those muscles, they atrophy and your strength diminishes.
So, don’t give up on those things you were made to do and keep yourself going as long as you are physically and mentally able. You’ll find your life will be full and you’ll never be bored.