I was interested in reading what will probably be Billy Graham’s last book, Nearing Home. The subtitle, “Life, Faith, and Finishing Well” is an apt one. This is not a book of theology, but a book of wisdom, written by a faithful servant of God who is facing the debilitating effects of advanced age with honesty and grace.
Although organized into ten chapters, the book takes a meandering course, as if you were sitting down next to Graham and he was relaying his thoughts informally to you. There are passages of scripture exposition, and some just practical advice (like the importance of a will), but the bulk of the book is simple wisdom about the realities, physical and spiritual, of aging and how to deal with them.
Over and over he circles back to several key themes: the importance of coming to peace with the limitations and realities of aging, of continuing to minister to and impact others around you, and of keeping Christ the foundation of your life. Scattered throughout the book are nuggets like:
“What testimony are you passing on to others following you? Remembering what God has done for you will invigorate you in old age. Others are watching your actions and attitudes. Don’t diminish the impact you can make; pass on foundational truths of God’s word.”
“No matter who we are, retirement presents us with two choices. Either we can use it to indulge ourselves, or we can use it to make an impact on the lives of others. In other words, the choice we face is between empty self-indulgence and meaningful activity.”
“Life is seldom easy as we grow older, but old age has its special joys– the joy of time with family and friends, the joy of freedom from responsibilities we once had, and the joy of savoring the little things we once overlooked. But most of all, as we learn to trust every day into His hands, the golden years can be a time of growing close to Christ. And that is life’s greatest joy.”
Although I am only 47, I found much in this book to reflect on and consider. It was a joy to read, & I heartily recommend it to anyone who is aged or is hoping to be someday.