do you want to live to be 100?

An interesting article from the UK’s Daily Express says that in three years you may be able to take a pill that gets your body to mimic the “super-genes” found in people who live to be 100+.

The breakthrough has come after scientists identified three “super-genes”.

People born with the genes are 20 times more likely to reach a century – and 80 per cent less likely to develop the senility disease Alzheimer’s.

Even being overweight or a heavy smoker does not stop a third of those with the genes living to 100.

Now US researchers are working to produce a drug that can mimic the genetic benefits and hope it will be ready for testing within three years. Their work features tonight on a BBC TV ­documentary.

First off, I’m pretty sure I don’t want to live to be 100.

I can’t say that with complete certainty.  How I feel about it at 28 and how I’ll feel later in life may be very different.  BUT, have you ever spent time with someone in their late 90’s or older?  My experience has been that they want to be done.  They’ve outlived all their friends and lots of family.

I hope that if I have been given the “super-genes” that I’ll wear old-age gracefully and with purpose.  I pray I won’t wish it away.

However, just pondering what my thoughts are on an ideal time of death, prior to 100 sounds good to me.

One thing I love about this article is that it acknowledges that for 1/3 of people with the super-genes, weight and smoking have not kept them from reaching 100.

This flies in the face of most of the conventional wisdom out there that has pervaded our culture and our church.  This wisdom says that we have ultimate control over our health if only we do this, don’t do that, eat this, don’t eat that and on and on and on.

Oh, and by the way, the rules for perfecting your health change every year or month or week.  So, you better spend a significant portion of your time researching and following all the health experts.  And if you do everything they say, viola: you will have good health.

Except for when you don’t.  Except for when you get a cancer diagnosis, or discover you have high blood pressure, or seem to catch every cold virus that comes around.

So maybe the discovery of these “super-genes” will knock some common sense into us in regard to our health.  Maybe it will help us to stop obsessing about every piece of hard candy we consume.*  Maybe.  But I doubt it.

It’s too enticing to believe that we have control over our long lives and then we also get the credit for maintaining our good health.  But if we accept the credit, we also have to take the heat for everything gone wrong.  I just can’t live that way.  Talk about a prescription for anxiety!

So I resolve to do what I can to make my body useful to the Lord, while embracing the Biblical worldview that says our bodies are under a curse until their final redemption.  Whether I’ll be granted to do this 5 more years, 50 more years or 75 more, that’s up to the Lord.  He has numbered my days.

*Shameless jab at Jamsco’s post from a few days ago.

5 thoughts on “do you want to live to be 100?

  1. Ultimate may be too strong, but maybe not.

    Think of it like arminian v. calvinistic. By saying ultimate control, I mean the belief that we are the “deciding” factor. God gives us ‘x’ to work with and we have the decisive role to play.

    People don’t necessarily say, “I have ultimate control”, but it’s the underlying assumption that people operate with when talking about their health.

    Ultimate or decisive control is implied in the outcomes they believe they can achieve.

  2. I think it’s more accurate to say that this mindset feels that you should go with the better odds.

    So, not smoking will not make it impossible for you get lung cancer, but it will greatly reduce the risk.

    The question is, is this true with Candy and Colds?

  3. Yes, I agree that going with better odds is a good plan. Don’t smoke.

    But if we’re playing the odds, we better have good scientific data to back us up.

    Alas, candy and colds. A relationship can’t be proven and *I don’t think it matters very much.* No food is unclean in and of itself. If we eat a piece of candy each day, we aim to do it with an enjoyment that brings glory to God, not an indulgence in gluttony. If we abstain we do it in the strength He supplies. And if we get a cold, we seek to endure it such a way that honors Him.

    My 2 (or so) cents.

    I fully support your eating or not eating hard candy. 🙂

  4. I didn’t think I would want to live to be 100 until my kids got to young adulthood. One of our pastors, when his mom passed away, asked the congregation to be sure to increase their prayers for his children who were in full time ministry–especially the one on the mission field. He said that his mom had been a faithful prayer warrior, devoting much of her time to praying for his ministry and his adult children in their ministries, and that they would need lots of prayer to make up for the loss of his mom’s prayers.

    Now that we have a daughter with a family of her own, a son who is preparing for full time ministry, and a daughter who is seeking God’s will for her life, I sense the urgency of that even more–to spend lots of time praying for our kids in their life’s callings.

    I recall your pastor saying at one time that he prayed even more for his kids now that they are grown than when they were growing up (which I’m sure was quite a bit).

    The things they face are greater–the opportunities, the dangers…

    So I keep praying that the Lord will grant me many, many years to pray for our kids–as many as possible. I think our latter years in life may be the best years since, as Oswald Chambers said: prayer does not prepare us for greater work; prayer is the greater work. If the Lord allows and we don’t fill up our latter years with lots of busyness, there seems to be much more time for prayer.

    I agree with you–I don’t look forward to the ailments and other painful things that aging may bring, but I do look forward to more prayer time with the Lord–for our kids and others who are serving him.

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