Tuesday, September 05, 2006

How to look ten years younger!

That got you reading, be honest!

The elixir of life -- it has always had its appeal. How to prevent those wrinkles, the sagging muscles, the graying hair (I'd personally settle for any color at the minute!).

I read in the Times newspaper that a "wellbeing centre" in Kensington (just think, I was in Kensignton just a few weeks ago!) has opened under the management of Carolan Brown (yes, spelled that way). She, as some of you might recall, was the personal trainer to the late Lady Diana. The "Soma Centre" has devised a new day programme that offers to "empower and educate you to look and feel over 80,000 hours (ten years) young in mind, body and spirit". All that in just one day.

Ten years can do a lot of damage! Think of poor Naomi in Moab. Bereavement etched some nasty lines in her as the Bethlehem women were quick to point out when, ten years later, she returned to the sounds of, "Can this be Naomi?" (Ruth 1:19). Not much Southern tact there!

The "Centre" is designed, of course, to extract money -- lots of money -- from folk who don't want to face the reality that death will take us all. There is a dis-ease with death and the aging process that takes us there. The promise of the elixir of life, some magic potion or cream that will enable us to live an extra year or two, is a powerful incentive to part with whatever it takes. A story this week of a Southern Californian woman (was she 110? And making her own muesli?) made me wonder why anyone would desire to live that long.

Even among Christians, the desire to live longer and longer lives is strong. Medicine increasingly holds the promise of life in three digits, but without the assurance of dignity. Personally, I'll be content with three score years and ten.

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