In his book “Rich in Years: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Longer Life” (Plough Publishing, 2013), Johann Christoph Arnold addresses an issue that most people don’t want to deal with. “I’m getting older, how do I live out my life gracefully?” After having worked as a Hospice Chaplain for several years, I found myself nodding in agreement with so much of what appears in the pages of this deceptively simple book.
The simple stories of growing old and the obstacles in the way, along with the solutions that others have found, will be useful for anyone who is faced with the inevitability of an aging loved one. And throughout the book, first and foremost comes faith.
The writing style seems simplistic, but the material presented is so engaging and compelling, that I quickly adapted to its rhythm rather than try to force it into a rhythm more closely aligned with my reading style.
“Rich in years” is for the person who is facing his or her own immortality, it’s for the families and friends of that person and it begs to be read by caregivers: professionals and family members. Arnold reminds us that aging is a process, and through that process we change. Our bodies and our minds may slow down, but we still need a purpose, we still want to serve, and with the help of God, family, friends, and community, those needs and wants can still be met.
If you know someone who is slowing down or suffering the effects of aging, you need to read this book.