Spiritual Supercentenarians

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3 KJV).

“Eternal life” is more than living forever; it is sharing in God’s life forever through Jesus Christ the Mediator.

Recently, a distant cousin of mine died… just a few days shy of her 112th birthday! To put that age into perspective, she had already celebrated her first birthday when the Titanic sank! She was a supercentenarian, someone significantly older than 100 (technically, one who is 110-plus). Roughly one person in 1,000 who reach age 100 will see 110 because several beneficial factors must converge—genetics, lifestyle, environment, will to live, to name a few.

I met the dear lady for the first and only time some months before her 104th birthday, and was thoroughly shocked to see her astonishing condition. Though residing in an assisted-living home, she strolled independently (no cane, walker, or wheelchair), answering her front door to greet my parents and me. Her mind was still quite sharp, for she recounted ancient family history for us. Curious, I asked her about her health. Her only medication was half a blood-pressure pill and an occasional baby aspirin to prevent heart attack and/or stroke. And, to think, people half her age are in worse physical and mental shape! When I inquired about her “key to longevity”—what did she do to live so long?!—she really had no idea.

When she turned 108, she was featured on a local news broadcast. Since we had visited her, her health had declined. Now, she was wheelchair-bound and living in her daughter’s home, but she had excellent memory and could still play her triangle (a Cajun-French musical instrument). Over the course of the next four years, her physical wellbeing became even more fragile, so she began celebrating half-birthdays (never knowing if she would reach the next full birthday). She did not reach 112, but she came extremely close!

Saints, though 112 years of earthly life is a long time, they cannot and do not compare to the endless eons we in Christ will have communing with Father God, whether this sojourn here on Earth now or the glories of eternity future in Heaven!